SOUTH EASTERN CENTRE SUMMER SPECIAL


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Thumbs up for a great weekend of Caterham racing! Photo: www.shivrajgohil.com

The BRSCC South Eastern Centre's second race meeting of the season took place August 2 and 3 with the Caterham Race Weekend on Brands Hatch's 1.199 mile Indy Circuit, featuring a 17-race programme. Two races were trimmed from the scheduled 18 when withdrawals meant that an oversubscribed Caterham Roadsport field could be combined, but an invitation Mazda race was added to Saturday's bill to compensate for track time lost earlier in the season. An overcast Saturday morning gave way to a bright and cloudy afternoon. Sunday was much more pleasant.

In a meeting dominated by Caterhams, it was fitting that the day's competitive action kicked off with a 20-minute race for the Avon Tyres Roadsport runners. Local man Jack Sales from Tunbridge Wells was always in the thick of the lead battle and managed to put some distance between himself and his pursuers, led by Londoner Dan Gore and Pulborough's Chris Hutchinson. Sunday morning's outing saw the same outcome.

For much of the 30-minute Tracksport race, it was seven cars for the lead, but contact between Pete Fortune and Michael Coulten took them out of the equation and disrupted the flow of the lead battle, leaving London's Christian Szaruta to stroke home to victory ahead of Stockport's Stephen Nuttall and Madrid's Andres Sinclair. The podium trio was repeated the following morning.

Colchester's Aaron Head won the 30-minute BookaTrack.com Superlight race, aided in no small measure by Danny Winstanley's retirement. Shrewsbury's Sean Byrne and Edinburgh's Mark Shaw completed the podium. Preston man Winstanley enjoyed a better Sunday outing, fighting his way up to second, albeit well adrift of the imperious Head. Wooburn Common's David Robinson looked set for that slot, but was pipped on the line.

Londoner Adam White was always in the six-car leading group during the 30-minute Avon Tyres Supersport A race, and made sure he was ahead at the Chequered Flag. Newark's Jonathan Mortimer and Denham's James Robinson gave chase in second and third.

A late-race coming together between Matt Dyer, Andrew West and Graham Johnson scuppered their chances of a podium spot in the 30-minute Avon Tyres Supersport B race, with Leicester's Andrew Hart benefiting to take victory ahead of Chelmsford's Steve Day and Reading's Nick Powell.

That race was supposed to close Saturday's programme, but agreement was reached to run a special 20-minute invitation trophy race for the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 runners, under the www.spare_track_time _at_the_end_of_the_day.com banner. Polesitter James Blake-Baldwin and fellow front row man Brian Chandler chose to start from the pits after the Green Flag lap, ensuring fun and games as they fought their way through the field. Stanley's Alan Henderson looked set to benefit, but was forced to pit himself. Basingstoke's Will Blackwell-Chambers won ahead of Leamington Spa's James Harris and Brum’s Darron Lewis.

Sunday's track action was wall-to-wall racing, kicking off with 20 minutes of points-scoring BRSCC Mazda MX-5 action (Group 1A). Blake Baldwin reinforced his championship lead, the Farnham man heading home Henderson and Blackwell-Chambers.

The 1B race was claimed by Shefford's Lewis Field from Durham's Jake Simpson, with Lickey's Kevin Brent further adrift.

A race-long PistonHeads.com Academy Group 1 battle saw brothers Olly and Benjamin Wigg split by Alistair Calvert, who grabbed second on the line following a thrilling 15 minutes. Farnham's David Webber took a much more comfortable victory in the Group 2 encounter, with Sevenoaks's Tim Gascoyne-Day ensuring his short trip to Brands was worthwhile coming home a distant second, with Dalbeattie's Paul Aram a close third.

Blake-Baldwin took another victory in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 2A selection, once more ahead of Henderson, with Johnathan ‘JJ’ Clements third.

Dyer made amends for his Saturday indiscretion by taking a hard-fought victory in the Supersport C race, the Edington man just heading home Hart and Denham's James Robinson.

The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 2B contest saw Tonbridge's Chris Dawkins, a retirement in his earlier outing, just fail to get on terms with Leamington Spa's James Harris for victory. Bulkington's Scott Leach took the remaining podium slot.

The weekend's competitive action finished with the Supersport D runners. Mortimer went one better than his Saturday race to finish comfortably clear of Horsham's Clive Richards. Windsor's Graham Johnson was well adrift in third.

We were delighted to help make a newly-wed couple's special day even more memorable, giving Luke and Vicki Fincham VIP treatment on the Saturday afternoon, with photographs on the podium, a lap of the track and a tour of the inner sanctum of Race Control. The Gravesend couple, who tied the knot in nearby Chalk, had their first date at Brands Hatch, holding their reception in the circuit's MSV Centre.

Click here for the BRANDS HATCH RESULTS

The BRSCC SE Centre returns to Brands Hatch October 25-26 where it joins forces with HQ for the FORMULA FORD FESTIVAL As well as the headlining category, Sports 2000s and Fiestas are on the bill.

COLIN MANN