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Drama and excitement at Silverstone

By Brian Phillips

QMN All three of our championships visited Silverstone on Saturday September 7 for an outing on the National circuit. There were more than enough on-track dramas for some of our saloon racers, and best wishes go to Ricky Davies for a rapid recovery from the injuries he sustained in a crash on the pits straight.

Ricky's BMW cannoned into Rod Birley's Escort and the Holden of Alex Sidwell, which in turn took out Ray Barrow's Escort. At the speeds involved the consequences could have been much worse, although that may not be much consolation to Ricky whose car was badly crushed, or to the three class A drivers who took home expensively battered cars.

On a brighter note, the QMN title chase is now down to a duel between class leaders Andy Woods-Dean and Steve Rothery with "Woody" the favourite. On the other hand, the Tin Tops still have seven drivers with a theoretical chance of becoming champion. All will be decided at the November truck meeting finale on the Brands Indy circuit.

Among the Intermarques, Matt Simpson overhauled Chris Brockhurst's narrow points advantage with a double win. One of these two must be champion, but with a round to come at Castle Combe before the Brands finale there's still time for some twists in the tale.

Quaife/Motorsport News saloons and Cannons MSA Tin Tops

Saturday morning qualifying was only a few minutes old when Ricky Davies lost control of his car in traffic and triggered a major accident which brought an immediate stoppage. A short resumption benefited Rick May, who moved his Escort to the top of the time sheet with Dale Gent's Subaru next.

The Sidwell and Birley teams worked miracles to get their cars to the grid for race one in third and fourth positions. In addition to the Davies and Barrow cars, Bob Hosier's Mini was missing after head gasket failure on a car mended only just in time after its Brands Hatch shunt.

QMN May was ahead on every lap to record his first win although Birley was up for the challenge, moving into second place and setting a stunning new lap record just before his engine let go. Gent kept the pressure on Rick and finished only 0.237s behind, helped by the pair catching a group of cars in the final sequence of bends.

Sidwell nursed the Holden to a distant third place before closer inspection revealed damage from the qualifying crash which would rule him out of race two, along with Birley. Malcolm Wise visited the Luffield gravel trap on lap one but brought his Escort back up the order to fourth ahead of class C BMW rivals Ravi Ramyead and Jamie Liptrott.

Seventh, eighth and ninth were class winners Ian Butler (B), Woods-Dean (E) and Rothery (D)), Woody lucky to take the honours following contact with Stewart Hutchinson through the complex as the Honda Integra driver tried to shut the door.

Tin Tops Back in 20th overall, Tom Bridger's T1 Rover 220 headed the Tin Tops in front of T3 and T2 winners Terry Searles and Russell Turner. Pete Osborne, alone as usual in TP, finished 27th and Dominic Ryan overcame Dave Charlton in T4.

A sideways moment for May at the start of race two allowed Gent to take the lead. Ramyead was in all kinds of trouble at Brooklands and Luffield, tumbling down the order while he regained control. This was nothing to the confusion at Brooklands on lap two, where May and Liptrott spun independently sending cars in all directions. Graham Richardson's Nova tapped Glen Rossiter's Clio which almost spun into the stationary May Escort.

When the dust settled Gent found himself with a huge lead and couldn't understand where everyone else had gone. His advantage grew to more than 41s by the end and only Paul Eve's Sapphire, the recovering Ramyead and Bill Richards finished on the same lap. Ramyead was class C winner and the inspired Richards won class D, taking valuable points off Rothery. Butler was fifth, winning class B again, while Woods-Dean, the recovering May, Rothery and Hutchinson were covered by 1.6s in the next four places.

Bridger was best of the Tin Tops again in 17th, although he struggled to the line with a broken front left ball joint. T1 rival Richardson was next past the flag. After these two, Searles beat Rossiter in T3 and Turner was 21st. Osborne finished 25th, while the battle for T4 and the honour of not being last of the classified finishers was as tight as anything seen all day. Charlton seemed to have the upper hand, but succumbed to Ryan's pressure at the end.

Dominic was named as Tin Tops driver of the day and Richards took the same award among the QMN ranks. Best prepared cars prizes went to Brett Lidsey (QMN) and Ross Craig.

Quaife Intermarque Championship

Intermarque Matt Simpson might have been making his first Silverstone appearance, but some intensive development work had produced a car which felt better than ever, and he qualified ahead of Keith White, Malcolm Blackman and Chris Brockhurst.

Simpson won a three-abreast outbraking competition into Brooklands early on, and eased away to a relatively comfortable victory in race one. Brockhurst tried to keep the pressure on, "but my tyres were going off a bit, and I was probably going off slightly as well!"

Blackman was third, enjoying the feeling that he'd finally got to grips with long circuit racing technique, and the three Tigras left the battling BMW Z4 clones of Simon Smith and White well behind. Daniel Smith was sixth in the Tigra normally driven by dad Richard, then came Mike Thurley (Tigra) and Ross Loram's Peugeot, who was promoted to pole position for race two when the podium party carried out the draw for the partially reversed grid.

It didn't take long for Simpson (after a blinding start) and Brockhurst to reach first and second places in race two, and they circulated as if connected by a short piece of rope until Chris faded in the later stages. Blackman was third again, but some distance behind and busy fighting off the attentions of Keith White.

Simon Smith and nephew Daniel enjoyed an exciting duel over fifth place and managed to avoid causing a family feud, while Mark Fuller earned the driver of the day award with his progress to seventh in the sole Mercedes SLK.

In a much livelier race than the first one, a group of five near the back of the field also entertained the spectators. Neil Jessop's tenth placed Peugeot was judged the best prepared car, and Neil also won an Avon tyre, along with White, Loram and Philip "Mr Cheese" Young.

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