SE CENTRE SEASON KICKS OFF IN STYLE


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The Euro Saloons were out in force at Brands over the weekend. Photo: Gary Hawkins

The BRSCC South Eastern Centre’s 2010 season kicked off somewhat belatedly over the weekend of June 12 and 13 with a 17-race meeting using Brands Hatch’s 1.2 mile Indy Circuit. Saturday took a long while to brighten up, while Sunday was altogether more pleasant.

The Ma5da MX5 Cup kicked off proceedings, Congleton’s Paul Sheard claiming victory in the opening 20-minute encounter. A reversed grid spiced up Saturday’s programme closer, but it didn’t take Sheard long to move to the fore and repeat his earlier success.

The visiting Cannons Motor Spares Tin Top Saloons and the Motorlawyers Fiat Challenge runners were combined for a 20-minute race. Reading’s Andrew Mitchell took overall and Cannons honours in his Peugeot 205 GTi, with Muford’s Arthur McMahon victorious in the Fiats. Sunday’s curtain-raiser saw the same outcome.

A dramatic mid-race coming together took out battling leaders Alex Craven and Chris Needham in the BRSCC Formula 3 series race. Chatham’s Mark Terry won the eight minute restart in his Dallara F302. Craven spun out of the lead in Sunday’s second race over 25 minutes, handing victory to Morecambe’s Needham in his Dallara F302.

The massed ranks of the BRSCC Euro Saloons and Sports Car Championship in association with Arrowpack International also needed a restart after a start line shunt. A 20-minute rerun was claimed by Worksop’s Dave Cockell in his Ford Escort Cosworth. Cockell was another to spin away a race lead in Sunday’s battle. Lincoln’s Kevin Wendt maintained first spot in his BMW E46 M3, despite the attentions of Hove’s Ilsa Cox in her Seat Leon Cupra.

A tardy start in the 20-minute BRSCC Formula Jedi race dropped pole-sitter Richard Mitcham back to fourth, but he benefited from an early Safety Car intervention to tail Evanton’s Andrew Dunn, moving into the lead on lap eight. Mitcham seemed to have thrown away any chance of victory in Sunday’s qualifier by stalling on the Green Flag lap and regaining his pole slot, receiving a 10-second penalty for his transgression. A blistering drive saw him make up the margin, despite an early safety car intervention.

On the same weekend as Le Mans, sports car action was provided by the Itchy Feet BRSCC OSS Championship. 20 minutes rather than 24 Hours was the race duration, Caerphilly’s Graham Cole taking the Chequered Flag on both days in his Jade Trakstar.

The BRSCC’s 500 Car Club origins were recalled in the 15-minute 500 OA race. Nigel Ashman made his trip from Market Harborough worthwhile heading home the runners in his Kieft CK52.

Joining the action on Sunday were Dunlop TVR Challenge competitors in a combined race with the Quaife Intermarque league. Steve Hall claimed overall and Intermarque spoils, with Londoner Keith Vaughan-Williams taking TVR honours in his Tuscan. Hall repeated the feat in Sunday’s finale, with Hugh Marshall’s Tuscan top TVR.

Stembridge’s Chris Morgan headed the pack home after 20 minutes of frantic Super Mighty Mini action. Mark Burnett was leading the Mighty Mini 20-minute race when it was Red Flagged four minutes early.

On a weekend where attentions were divided with World Cup football, it was apt that Safety Car duties were performed on the Sunday by ex-England international & AC Milan striker and aspiring racing team manager Luther Blissett. Luther also carried out some podium presentation duties.

The full results can be found at Click Here

The next BRSCC South Eastern Centre meeting takes place at Brands Hatch on August 21 and 22.

Colin Mann