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New car brings first race victories for Charlton at seasonal finale

By Brian Phillips

The last date on the Brands Hatch 2013 fixture list also marked the Centre’s final on-track event of the year. Entries fell short of original expectations, but the day was highlighted by two popular victories for Dave Charlton, his first in five years of trying.

Tin Tops The Lincolnshire driver, a loyal supporter of the club’s Tin Tops, was out for the first time in a newly acquired Seat Leon. Having viewed previous events from the lower reaches of the race order through the windscreen of a VW Beetle, Dave gained a whole new perspective from the opposite end of the time sheets.

Setting out to take things easy on his first encounter with front wheel drive and turbo power, Charlton was second in a damp qualifying session to Glen Rossiter’s Clio, which had been upgraded with a sequential gearbox since the championship season ended.

The Seat powered ahead from the rolling start in race one, while Rossiter had wild first lap moments at both Paddock and Graham Hill Bend. This cost the Gravesend man his chances of overall victory, although he was a class winner. The Clio closed rapidly once back into second place on lap seven and sat right on Charlton’s tail at the final corner, but the Seat was always going to boost ahead on the drag from Clearways to the chequered flag.

Gaining confidence and experience of his new car, and having clearly acquired a taste for podium Champagne, Charlton kept Rossiter comfortably at bay in the second race to complete a highly successful day’s work. Third in both races to these drivers was Nathan Dew in a Honda Integra recently purchased from former Centre racer Luke Bennett.

Tin Tops Graham Richardson’s Nova was fourth in race one but the car let him down in race two. This promoted the shared BMW of John Deveraux (race one) and Mike Chittenden (race two) from fifth to fourth place at the second attempt.

Rod Birley was a class-winning sixth in the first race in the unfamiliar cockpit of Jason Watkins’ Fiesta, the multi-victorious Birley Escort still sidelined by engine issues. The Fiesta was a race two retirement after leaving a smoke screen caused by engine breather problems.

New Tin Tops champion Pete Osborne (Clio), Jon Wild’s Metro (a class winner following Birley’s demise), and Kieron Lehane’s new Citroen Saxo were the other regulars taking part. Osborne received a prize for presenting the best prepared car.

Tin Tops A special mention for Jonathan Wills, who travelled at the crack of dawn from Cirencester and was still completing his new MG ZS in the paddock. The fixture was originally billed as a Brands Hatch versus Castle Combe challenge, but despite initial enthusiasm from the West Country brigade, Jonathan was the only one to submit an entry. He was caught out by the still tricky track and reversed into the tyre wall on Cooper Straight in race one, carrying on regardless only to spin at Paddock. Not willing to be defeated, he finished both races and received the “hardest tryer” award at the prizegiving.

Next Race Meeting:

18th-19th November 2017
Brands Hatch
QMN and TinTops Non-Championship

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery Quaife Modified Saloons with Cannons TinTops,
24th September 2017

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque,
23rd September 2017

Latest gallery Quaife Cannons TinTops,
23rd September 2017

Last Race Results

Quaife Modified Saloons:

1. Andy Banham
2. Graham Crowhurst
3. Matthew Turner
See full results

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

1. Rod Birley
2. Dan Fisher
3. James J.J. Ross
See full results

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

1. Malcolm Blackman
2. Matt Simpson
3. Daniel Smith
See full results

2017 Champions (Provisional):

Quaife Modified Saloons:

Rod Birley
See full standings

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

Dan Fisher
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Malcolm Blackman See full standings