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Brands Hatch 7th September 2014 Race Report

By Shawn Herrington

QMN The re-arranged race for the QMN plus Cannons Tin Tops became a non championship affair for the Kentish Trophy. With most of the participants from August 16th taking part, it provided one of the biggest grids of the day.

Sadly missing was Dale Gent, who blew his Subaru’s engine in the classic thunder race earlier in the weekend. None the less there was still a very good entry in both sections. Qualifying was quite late in the program, but provided Rod Birley with his tenth pole position of the year. Lining up alongside him would be Jack Tetley in the iconic stars and stripes V8 Opel Manta. Another V8 engined car headed row two, in the shape of Alex Sidwell’s Holden Commodore. Fourth should have been the incredible Ford Fiesta of Craig Shepherd, but he suffered a blown engine. The same fate also removed Glen Rossiter, with his Renault Clio. Fourth spot now went to Tom Knight with Tony Skelton taking fifth on the grid. Best of the Tin tops was Tom Bridger who lined up eighth with Kenny Coleman twelfth.

QMN The usual rolling start saw Birley run side by side with Sidwell through Paddock Bend. At Druids the black Ford just emerged in the lead, but the battle over the next few laps was very close. Twice Sidwell got the big Holden alongside, but each time Birley just resisted the challenge. On lap seven the leaders caught the first group of back markers and Birley wriggled through gaining a three second advantage. From here on he edged clear as the two V8s engaged in a race long battle. Tetley got up to second on lap 12 and held sway until lap 16 when Sidwell squeezed back through. At the chequered flag Birley was clear by six seconds and duly won the Kentish trophy. Sidwell clung onto second by just half a second.

Knight, Skelton and Mike Chittenden squabbled over fourth spot. The blue class A BMW of Knight had the upper hand, whilst the black version of Chittenden came home fifth, also securing class C honours. Skelton was relieved to have a good run in his class B winning turbo Renault Clio. Class D went to the rapid Ford Escort Mk.1 of Nick Proudlock, who set his best ever lap time around the Indy circuit on his way to seventh overall. Class E went to the rapid James Ross in his Ford Fiesta, just holding off Vic Hope who was using slick tyres on his Honda Civic this time.

TinTops In the Tin Tops, Tom Bridger steered his Rover Tomcat to 8th overall and T1 victory. This gained him the other Kentish trophy for the first Tin Top home. Kenny Coleman chased him all the way in his T2 winning Honda Civic. Cliff Pellin took T3 honours in his quick Ford Fiesta, charging through from a lowly qualifying position. En route Cliff had a good battle with QMN drivers Nick Wall and Andrew Gibbons. Such was Cliff’s pace that he nearly caught Vic Hope. Class TP went to Peter Osborne who battled with Berni Baxter’s Audi S3, until it fell back with gearbox issues. Newcomer Daniel Adams took the runner spot in TP with his Proton Satria. The closest battle was in T4 where Neal Gardiner, Dominic Ryan and Robert Taylor battled furiously for most of the race. Taylor was eased wide and lost a bit of ground, but Ryan steadfastly held the class lead, until the very last lap when Gardiner squeezed by. Gary French tried to hang onto this group, but a couple of wayward moments meant that fourth in class was his, along with best prepared Tin Top car. Kieron Lehane completed the runners in his Citroen Saxo, following the retirements of Graham Richardson and Steve Dann.

Driver of the day in QMN went to Jack Tetley, who was competing in only his sixth race. In Tin Tops the honour went to Robert Taylor. Best prepared QMN car went to Tom Knight. The championships resume at Lydden Hill on October 4th.

Next Race Meeting:

See you in 2019

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Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

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