FORZA FERRARI CHALLENGE UK IN THRILLING OPENING MEETING AT BRANDS HATCH


The BRSCC South Eastern Centre’s second race meeting of the season, the Ferrari Challenge, run in conjunction with our HQ colleagues, took place over the weekend of May 18-19 with a slim, five-race programme, as usual over Brands Hatch’s 1.208 mile Indy Circuit. Saturday stayed dry throughout, with Sunday also escaping the threatened showers.

All track action involved the Maranello marque, with Free Practice, Qualifying and Races interspersed with Passione Ferrari Customers’ Activity, with guests and customers treated to high-speed laps of the track.

Headlining the programme were two 30m races for the Ferrari Challenge UK, launched for 2019 using the 488 Challenge cars. In Saturday’s inaugural race, Jason Baker (Dick Lovett Swindon) and Jamie Clarke (Stratstone Manchester) enjoyed a titanic battle at the front of the field, with the race coming to a dramatic conclusion with some five minutes to run, as the pair collided along Cooper Straight, with Baker seemingly slowing for a Red Flag race stoppage for a separate incident. Wayne Marrs (Dick Lovett Swindon) was a distant third.

Sunday’s race two was largely incident-free, Baker and Clark’s lead dice pulling them well clear of the pack, headed by Paul Hogarth (Stratstone Manchester), with the podium in that order.

A more familiar sight at BRSCC meetings are the Pirelli Formula Classic cars, with three 20m races scheduled. Tristan Simpson (F355 Challenge 1994) scrapped for the lead with Wayne Marrs similar car, the pair finishing well clear of Tom Mogridge’s 1997 example.

Marrs took Race two honours, this time well clear of Simpson, with Mogridge further back in third.

Race three saw the same finishing order, Simpson just pipping Mogridge on the line.

Rather than MSV’s BMW Safety Car, Driver Stewart Croucher had the use of a Ferrari 812 for the weekend, and admitted to being impressed to see it speeding past other ‘hot ride’ cars on the Saturday. This was hardly surprising, as it was being handled by works driver James Calado, there in his capacity as Driver Advisor for the Ferrari Challenge.

The BRSCC SE Centre returns to Brands Hatch over the weekend of July 27-28 for what is billed as the TCR UK Race Weekend, but which will now see the category combined with the Touring Car Trophy. Also on the bill are the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship, BRSCC Mazda MX SuperCup, Civic Cup, BRSCC OSS Championship, BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF tyres, BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF tyres, BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF tyres, BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF tyres, and the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship.

COLIN MANN