SUMMER FUN AT BRANDS HATCH


CATEGORIES:

The Caterhams provided their customary exciting display of racing – Photo: snappyracers.com

The BRSCC South Eastern Centre's second race meeting of the season took place over the weekend of August 22-23 with a busy 22-race programme, as usual over Brands Hatch's 1.199 mile Indy Circuit. Saturday was a scorcher, while the forecast rain duly arrived midway through Sunday's action before drying out.

With the weekend's bill of fare being dominated by Caterhams, it was fitting that race proceedings opened with a 30-minute outing for the Avon Tyres Tracksport runners. Leeds racer Henry Heaton was being reeled in by Solihull's Mike Evans when the Red Flag brought proceedings to an early halt with six minutes left to run.

Sunday's second race opened the day's proceedings and ran its full duration. Jack Sales, from nearby Tunbridge Wells, third in the earlier race, went two better, winning from Heaton and Cedric Bloch.

The first Teekay Couplings Production GTi 15-minute race saw Horncastle's Jason Tingle convert pole into a relatively comfortable victory from Crick's Tom Witts and Chipping Norton's Martyn Walsh. The day's second race saw the same top two, with a shortened rerun after a Red Flag interruption. Taunton's Craig Fleming took third.

Runcorn's Lee Morgan made eventual winner Ben Hingeley work hard for victory in the first BRSCC Formula Jedi race, the Glascoed man seizing the lead with a demon manoeuvre. Cambridge's Paul Butcher claimed the remaining podium place, albeit well adrift of the lead battle. Track limits time penalties for Morgan in race two demoted him to third, with Hingeley taking a victory double, Michael Watton moving up to second.

Spalding's Marc Kemp romped to victory in the first Toyo Tires Honda VTEC 15 minute encounter, finishing nearly 13 seconds clear of Sheffield's Robert Burkinshaw, with Wimborne's Mark Bennett third. Local man Simon Horrobin from Snodland was the leading Smart Car runner.

Kemp doubled up in Sunday's second outing, run over six minutes following a Red Flag caused by an inverted Smart Car. Bennett improved to second, ahead of Swinton's Stewart Hutchinson. Bristolian Martyn Clatworthy was top Smart Car finisher.

Next up for a 30-minute race were the Avon Tyres Caterham Supersport runners, with Cranleigh's Clive Richards breaking clear of the battling pack to take a comfortable win ahead of Stockport's Stephen Nuttall and Leiston's William Smith. Sunday's second encounter was run on a wet track, with more than one competitor falling foul of the conditions. Nuttall turned the tables on Richards this time, with Londoner Danny Killeen third.

Richard Styrin's hopes of victory in the first Toyo Tires Porsche 20-minute race were scuppered when the Leeds man was adjudged to have made a false start. Pole man Ed Hayes benefited to claim victory in another race shortened by a Red Flag, the Follifoot man's Boxster finishing ahead of Swanbourne's Andrew Hack's similar car and Rugby's Adam Southgate. Styrin made amends in Sunday's race two, with Hayes demoted to second. Westoning's Gary Lawrence took third on the road, but a Yellow Flag infringement saw him drop to fourth behind Southgate.

At the same time, the 924 class saw dicing aplenty in both races. Aldington's David Jones was the man at the head of the class at the time of the race 1 stoppage ahead of Teddington's Nizar El-Chamaa and Harrogate's Linda Warren completing a hard-earned podium with 3rd position. 924 championship leader Adam Croft missed out on points due to stopping before the red flag came out. Race 2 saw a long-awaited victory for El-Chamaa, who brought his pink Porsche first past the post to stand atop the podium. Croft managed to make the chequered flag this time with 2nd and race 1 winner Jones in 3rd. Croft continues to lead the standing ahead of Alistair Kirkham and Philip Waters.

Saturday's penultimate race for Avon Tyres Caterham Roadsport runners was scheduled for 20 minutes, but was another that was halted early with a car in a dangerous position. Farnham's David Webber was safely ahead of Cambridge's Olly Wigg and Billingshurst's Alistair Calvert. Wigg and Webber swapped positions in Sunday's second encounter with Calvert once again third.

Closing Saturday's proceedings was a 15-minute race for the Excool OSS runners, and guess what, another Red Flag! Bromsgrove's Duncan Williams took victory in his Juno ahead of Wolverhampton's Mike Jenvey in his Jenvey Gunn and Vernham Dean's Simon Tilling's Ligier.

The second race was run on a wet track with the same top two, with Newdigate man Graham Hill's Radical coping well with the conditions to take third. Their third outing on a dry track closed the weekend's track action with what looked like a missed gear for Williams allowing Jenvey to take the lead. Williams fought back and reclaimed top spot. Paul Spencer's Radical was a lapped third.

Sunday's third race saw the first outing for the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Mk2 competitors, with proceedings enlivened by the arrival of rain. Tom Witts, second in both Saturday VW races, was a delighted winner ahead of Wimborne's Nick Porter and Wooldale's Craig Roberts.The track had dried for their second 15 minute outing, with the same top two. Leicester's Josh Johnson took third.

The GQ Caterham Academy runners were split into Green and White Groups for their respective 15 minute races, with the former set loose on a drying track. Winchester's David Bevan finished comfortably clear of Lambeth's Rob Watts and Lisbon's Rui Ferrieira.

The track was dry for the White Group race, which saw victory for Londoner Andrew Perry from Rickmansworth's Russ Olivant and Pulborough's Alan Cooper.

Making their sole appearance of the weekend for Sunday's penultimate race were the BRSCC Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship runners. A brief Safety Car interlude failed to hold back pole-sitter Graham Seager's charge to victory in his GTV, with Roger Evans' 147 GTA second and Tom Hill's 156 third.

OSS racer Simon Tilling had a mixed return to the circuit where he was a regular marshal some 30 years ago. His final outing saw him beach his glorious Ligier in the Clark Curve gravel, giving him the opportunity to join erstwhile colleagues on the bank.

The BRSCC SE Centre returns to Brands Hatch October 24-25 where it joins forces with HQ for the Formula Ford Festival, the 40th such event at the Kent track. As well as the headlining category, Sports 2000s and Fiestas are on the bill. South Eastern Centre officials are working with HQ staff on a special 'Masters' race to commemorate the occasion, with a special meal to be held on the Saturday.

Click here for the BRANDS HATCH RESULTS

Colin Mann