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Avon Intermarque race report, Silverstone, 16th August 2015

By Rod Birley

Intermarque The intermarque championship returned to Silverstone with an entry of 16 cars, however this was soon reduced to 15 when John Steward suffered a major engine failure in his normally reliable Vauxhall Corsa. David Brooks experienced noise issues and was late joining in the qualifying session and then suffered a broken halfshaft, which meant he missed the first race. Quickest was Matt Simpson who posted a time of six tenths over one minute. This was ¾ of a second better than Lewis Smith, with championship protagonists Malcolm Blackman and Chris Brockhurst occupying row 2.

Intermarque As the cars gathered in the assembly area, prior to the first race, there was a notable absentee. Matt Simpson’s team had changed his gearbox after qualifying, but as Matt drove out of his garage the differential broke. So Lewis Smith was alone on the front row and he made the best start to lead from Brockhurst and Blackman with Mike Thurley in fourth, Daniel Smith fifth and Ricky Hunn up to sixth. Lap two saw Blackman gain second place, and Dan Smith moved ahead of Thurley. Hunn had an off at Becketts as Phil Blackford had a less time consuming spin at Brooklands. The order now settled down, although Blackman did challenge Lewis Smith a couple of times. Brockhurst had a useful gap over Daniel Smith, who soon dropped Thurley. Mike was slowly caught by Chris Ayling although the blue Tigra seemed to have a bit in hand. Steve Burrows and Richard Smith had a good battle over 7th spot with Burrows snatching the position back on the last lap. Phil Young had a competitive run in his Mitsubishi, fending off the attention of Lee Griffiths, with Reuben Taylor completing the finishers after Hunn (clutch issues) and Blackford (engine issues) both retired.

Intermarque Unfortunately Lewis Smith’s victory celebration did not last very long as the scrutineers deemed his front splitter to be too low. So Blackman inherited the win with Brockhurst second and Daniel Smith third. The grid draw put Griffiths and Young on the front row for race two , with Simpson and Lewis Smith right at the back.

The rolling start was controlled well by the front row drivers, but Steve Burrows quickly took the lead as they came down the Wellington straight. Griffiths held second from Richard Smith and Chris Ayling, with Simpson already up to fifth followed by Brockhurst and Lewis Smith. Lap two saw Burrows pursued by Simpson, Richard Smith, Griffiths, Lewis Smith, Brockhurst and Blackman. By lap three Simpson was in front, and a lap later Lewis Smith was into second place. Chris Ayling dived into the pits to change a punctured tyre, rejoining two laps down to try and salvage some points. Meanwhile Dave Brooks was assisting the marshals deal with a small fire on the passenger side of his car. Unfortunately this was taking place in the pit lane entrance road, so the safety car was deployed, whilst the smouldering car was dragged away.

Intermarque The re-start saw Simpson quickly establish his previous margin, as Lewis Smith, Blackman and Brockhurst squabbled over the runner up spot. An ambitious move by Chris proved disastrous as he spun luridly at Brooklands, whilst Blackman took evasive action. This allowed Lewis an easier run to second spot behind the dominant Simpson. Blackman kept third position, whilst Dan Smith defended hard to secure fourth from Thurley. Richard Smith got revenge on Burrows this time to come 6th, with Steve 7th and a feisty Hunn in 8th. Ricky being awarded the best prepared car award. Griffiths drove a competitive race to claim 9th and just hold off the recovering Brockhurst. Lee was also a popular winner of the driver of the day award. Taylor, Young and Ayling completed the finishers.

The Avon tyre winners were Steve Burrows, Richard Smith, Mike Thurley and the unlucky Chris Ayling. The next round is at Brands Hatch on Sunday September 27th.

Next Race Meeting:

See you in 2019

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Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

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