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TinTops and MN Saloons race report, Brands Hatch,
7th and 8th November 2015

Adam Grant

Cannons TinTops Championship

Cannons TinTops Saturday saw the concluding races for the Cannons Tin Tops championship. Four drivers came to Brands Hatch with a chance of winning the championship: Ryan Steel, Cliff Pellin, Tom Bridger and Daniel Adams. Qualifying took place on a damp surface with Chris Bassett impressively heading the field by over a second. Bridger lined up next to him, with Barnaby Davies and Rod Birley on row two. Carey Lewis was fifth, with Pellin alongside, as Mikey Day headed the T3 runners in seventh spot followed by Chris Whiteman, Gareth Broadbent and Tyler Lidsey.

The first race probably had the wettest conditions of the day, as Bassett headed the pack as soon as the red lights went out. Davies slithered into second, as Birley quickly deposed a struggling Bridger. The first three pulled out an early lead, as they drew away from the battle between Pellin and Whiteman. Davies eventually powered past Bassett, only to fall behind again on the final lap approaching Clearways. On the run to the chequered flag turbo power won the drag race, as Barny took another outright win. Bassett thought he was second just in front of Birley, until he was excluded for not having a working transponder. This promoted the Bevan owned Honda Integra to a class win. Pellin therefore gained the third spot with Whiteman holding off Adams. Lidsey got the better of Broadbent for seventh, followed by Dave Hutchins and T3 winner Day. Steel had worked his way in front of Day, until a clutch cable broke and he had a grassy moment. He still claimed second in class, although Pellin had reduced the points margin to just two.

Cannons TinTops Race two saw Davies head the field into Paddock Bend, with Birley sniffing around the outside. The Honda seemed quicker into the corners, whereas the Toyota powered away down the straights. In the end Davies was a fairly comfortable victor. Birley took another class winning podium position, whilst Bassett stormed through to third from the back of the grid. Andy Baker followed Bassett in another Peugeot 205 to take fourth. Pellin again won class TP in fifth overall, followed by Whiteman. In seventh spot, and importantly winning class T3 was Ryan Steel. This gave the first year racer the overall championship title by just five points.Adams, Day and Bridger completed the top ten, with the Mark Fish driver of the race awards going to David Hutchins and Tyler Lidsey.

The Tin Tops have certainly improved this year, with a healthy turn out at each meeting fully justifying their own races.

Motorsport News Saloons Championship

MN Saloons Moving on to Sunday, and the concluding two races for the Motorsport News saloon car championship. The weather had improved slightly, but the track remained very slippery all day. Qualifying saw most drivers elect to use grooved tyres, although some ventured out on slicks which was not the correct choice. Malcolm Wise headed the time sheets even though he stopped prematurely exiting Druids. Having clinched the championship at the previous meeting Rod Birley was still keen to keep his 100% class A wins intact and lined up second. Another Escort Cosworth lined up third in the hands of Fiesta champion James Ross, so an interesting battle was in prospect. Steve Dann should have been fourth on the grid, but an electrical gremlin prevented him from starting either race. Next up was Olly Allen in his rapid class D Fiesta, followed by Jamie Going in a Renault Clio cup car. Tony Skelton headed row four, joined by Paul Nevill, with Paul’s buddy Pantelis Christoforou next in his very smart Mk.2 Ford Escort. Luke Reade completed the top ten in his BMW Mini Cooper S.

The first race saw Wise control the start well and head the pack into Paddock Bend. Already falling back was Birley who had a transmission problem which side lined him immediately. Ross therefore took up the running in second spot, but was unable to match the leaders pace. Making swift progress was Reade who soon appeared in third position. As the laps ticked by he gradually caught Ross and slipped past on lap 11. By now Wise was over five seconds up the road, and Malcolm maintained the gap to achieve his first win of the year. Reade was a delighted second with Ross third. Allen drove hard to hold off the attentions of Tom Knight, although subsequently Knight was excluded for an abusive incident in the paddock having already started out of position. Therefore promoted to fifth was class C winner Gavin Thomson followed by a subdued Ian Butler who just held off Christoforou for class B victory. Barnaby Davies had an impressive drive into eighth overall, second in class D, followed by Going and Dave Charlton. Andy Pipe won class E, well clear of Tom Hutchins.

MN Saloons Race two was missing Wise, who had discovered a wheel bearing had failed. This left Reade alone on the front row. The race was held in very gloomy conditions following numerous delays in the preceding truck races, which had also coated the track in diesel. Reade controlled the rolling start well and just edged Ross as they headed up Hailwood Hill with lights ablaze. Further back both Hutchins and Adam Mew spun at Paddock Bend, which saw the green Escort Cosworth beached in the gravel whereas the Honda did rejoin. Lap two saw Barnaby Davies disappear, whilst back row starters Brett Lydsey and Tom Knight were making rapid progress through the depleted field. On lap three there was a very unfortunate incident at Paddock Bend. Opinions obviously differ but Mark Cripps was forced into a spin with his BMW and sadly he was hit very hard by Paul Nevill in his Mk.2 Escort. Paul had nowhere to go as he was on the outside of Knight, who only just avoided being involved as well. At the same time Going stopped at Druids, so the race was red flagged and the result declared. Cripps suffered a broken bone in his hand as Nevill went to the medical centre, having been winded in the shunt.

Reade therefore took the victory from Ross, with Allen third and Thomson fourth. In the absence of Butler, whose clutch had failed, Christoforou took fifth and won class B, as Charlton claimed sixth. Matt Turner held on to seventh from Lidsey, with Dan Cowan and Mike Chittenden completing the top ten. Pipe again won class E. Andy Banham received the driver of the day award.

The championship has seen big grids all year and is looking good for next season. Provisionally the first meeting is scheduled for the Easter weekend at the end of March.

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