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Race report Brands Hatch 25th May 2013.

By Shawn Herrington

QMN For the first time the QMN saloons and Cannons Tin Tops were guests at the prestigious Masters historic festival. With heavy overnight rain leaving the Brands Hatch Indy circuit still damp by the time qualifying started, it would be interesting to see how the 37 runners coped. Most elected to run slicks, although a few like reigning champion Gavin Thomson, plus Paul Eve and Rod Birley elected to run wets. Birley realised his error immediately, and stopped after two laps to fit slicks. Initially Eve and Thomson topped the timing screens, but they soon slipped back as Gent went to the top, then Wise took over, until Birley got into his stride to claim pole position.

Best of the two wheel drive cars was Ian Butler in his Ford Focus, with Steve Rothery next from Ricky Davies. Ricky has sold his Tin Top Mini and now has a BMW M3 E46. Thomson held onto seventh with his grooved tyres, from Guy Blumer's Ford Sierra, Paul Eve's Sapphire and another returnee Nick Proudlock. In the Tin Top section Graham Richardson was quickest from Glen Rossiter, as Chris Whiteman had driveshaft failure and only completed one slow lap.

QMN The first race featured all the QMN cars plus classes T1, T4 and TP of the Tin Tops. Tom Bridger missed this race due to turbo problems. Tony Paxman added to the list of non-starters after his gearbox broke. The rolling start was conducted in an orderly fashion as Birley just edged ahead of Wise and Gent slotted into third. At McLaren there was a coming together in the mid field, which resulted in Danny Innes half spinning and being collected by Graham Richardson. On the next lap we lost Ian Butler with a broken gearbox and the charging Chris Whiteman who had damaged bodywork. They both pulled off by the ambulance gate at the top of Paddock Bend.

The pace of the three leaders was taking them away from Thomson, who was 13 seconds adrift after four laps. Hot on Gavin's heels was Steve Rothery who was hussling to stay ahead of Davies BMW. Next up was a close battle between Eve and Blumer who swapped places a couple of times until Paul managed to ease away. There then followed a very busy group comprising Alan Phillips, Andy Woods-Dean, Proudlock and Tony Skelton. Phillips was making the best progress and he emerged in ninth position by lap five. In the Tin Tops section Peter Osborne was leading the way, whilst Jon Wild and Dominic Ryan had an entertaining scrap for T4 honours.

As Birley held sway at the front, Wise came under increasing pressure from Gent. Dale found the opening on lap 8 as Malcolm found his transmission starting to faulter. The Subaru driver set the fastest lap of the race on lap 9, as he tried to close in on the leading Ford. However, the charge was soon abated as red flags were waved around the circuit. Al Phillips had crashed heavily at Druids and this prompted a halt to proceedings. The results were declared and several drivers were warned about incidents in the yellow flag zones.

TinTops The Tin Top only race saw the repaired cars of Bridger and Whiteman lining up on the back row of the grid. Ross Craig was replacing his transmission so he was a non-starter, as was Richardson due to the damage on his Vauxhall Nova. Despite the depleted field it turned out to be a very entertaining race. Glen Rossiter took the lead from a determined Terry Searles. Cliff Pellin slipped back as he was soon passed by Whiteman and Bridger. Searles was the next victim, but Rossiter offered stubborn resistance. Eventually both the Honda and the Rover turbo edged through and took up first and second position. This left Rossiter and Searles squabbling over the final podium place. The battle was a bit heated, which would have a later bearing. Meanwhile Wild and Ryan resumed their T4 battle, albeit behind Pellin, Osborne and Cole. Dave Charlton rounded out the ten runners with his venerable Beetle.

Whiteman cruised to an eleven second win, as Bridger slipped back towards Rossiter and Searles. Although Glen crossed the line in front of Terry, a five second penalty for exceeding track limits meant the MG was promoted to third.

QMN The third race featured the QMN runners again, this time joined by the T3 brigade including Ross Craig's Fiesta. Missing was the Escort Cosworth of Wise, due to the transmission problem, and the Sapphire of Phillips. The rolling start saw Birley and Gent go side by side around Paddock Bend, but Dale got better traction up the hill and emerged in front. This meant that Rod was headed for the first time this year. The crowd were then treated to a high speed battle, as these two were less than half a second apart for lap after lap. As they streaked away Paul Eve jumped into third place, quickly usurping the battle between Thomson and Rothery. Davies looked comfortable in sixth, leaving Blumer to fend off Woods-Dean and a fast closing Bill Richards.

QMN Blumer started to slip back at half distance as he found a deficit of gears. Heading in the other direction was Richards who progressed to sixth position. Another man on a mission was Chris Whiteman, who charged into the T3 lead and almost caught Woods-Dean for class E honours. The repaired Seat of Innes worked his way up to ninth as Proudlock completed the top ten. Meanwhile Birley continued to harry Gent until an audacious move around the outside of Druids paid off. The black Escort then eased away to a three second win, but this was certainly the best lead battle so far this year. Both drivers showed respect to one another as they each gave a fair amount of racing room. Thomson lost his battle with Rothery when his throttle cable broke, but Steve kept the pressure on Eve right to the flag. The Sapphire driver claimed the QMN driver of the day award, whilst the Tin Top driver of the day went to Cliff Pellin. Best prepared car awards went to Stephen Booth in QMN, and Dominic Ryan in Tin Tops.

The next meeting sees both championships move away from Brands Hatch for the first time this time. A trip to Lydden is on the cards, as the centre runs its only meeting of the year on June 15/16.

Next Race Meeting:

23rd September 2017
Brands Hatch (TinTops and Intermarque)

24th September 2017
Brands Hatch (QMS)

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery Quaife Modified Saloons with Cannons TinTops,
10th September 2017

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque,
3rd September 2017

Latest gallery Quaife Cannons TinTops,
2nd September 2017

Last Race Results

Quaife Modified Saloons:

1. Rod Birley
2. Malcolm Wise
3. Paul Adams
See full results

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

1. Dan Fisher
2. Rod Birley
3. Bob Hosier
See full results

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

1. Lewis Smith
2. Malcolm Blackman
3. Keith White
See full results

2017 Championship Leaders:

Quaife Modified Saloons:

Rod Birley
See full standings

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

Dan Fisher
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Malcolm Blackman See full standings