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Meeting report from Lydden Hill June 21/22

By Shawn Herrington

Lydden Hill The third annual Lydden Hill truck festival again provided some brilliant circuit racing. Saturday started with the Cannons Tin Tops and Chris Whiteman soon stamped his authority on the day’s proceedings. The first race he won at a relative canter, pulling away from the battling duo of Barnaby Davies and Russell Turner. These two fought all the way to the chequered flag, with the class T2 Toyota just taking the runner up spot behind Whiteman. The next group comprised of Vic Hope, Chris Bassett and Terry Searles. All three are from class T3 and they crossed the line in this order. Last year’s champion Peter Osborne came home eight from invitation runner Tris Barden in his Mini. Neal Gardiner completed the top ten, also winning T4, whilst T1 leader Tom Bridger retired after four laps.

TinTops The second race saw a partially reversed grid, with Osborne sitting on pole position and newcomer David Hutchings joining him on the front row. Even though Whiteman started back in eighth, it didn’t take him long to hit the front. Osborne provided stubborn resistance to the rest of the more fancied runners and it took them a while to wriggle past the Clio driver. A cheeky last lap move saw Barnaby Davies out fumble Vic Hope for second position, whilst Turner had to fight off the close attentions of Bridger. Osborne came home seventh defending his position from Searles and Oli Davies. In T4 there was a huge battle between four cars and it looked like Robert Taylor was going to take the class spoils. However, at the last minute his car’s engine sounded sick and Kieron Lehane nipped through. Championship leader Gardiner just held off Dominic Ryan, as Taylor slipped to fourth in class. Searles took the best prepared car award with Whiteman and Lehane gaining the Mark Fish driver of the race trophies.

Sevenesque The sevenesque sports cars managed to get into double figures with ten entries, although Stewart Fenton subsequently non- started when his Tiger had problems. Series founder Ian Conibear steered his Caterham to victory in race one, closely pursued by the class 3 car of Julian Sage. Colin Watson completed the top three, as Bruce Wilson and Alastair Heys took their respective classes. The second race witnessed a partially reversed grid and this made for an excellent race. With Heys on pole position in his Westfield, he steadfastly held off the pursuers for several laps. Six cars roared around the Lydden mile with just over a second covering them for several laps. Eventually Conibear picked his way through and Sage followed him. Watson took a little longer to emerge in third, but Heys defended fourth to the chequered flag, holding off Wilson and Peter Hargroves. The BOSS racing duo of Watson and Rob Singleton took the best prepared car and entertainer of the day awards respectively.

Intermarque The Quaife Intermarques were contesting the final two rounds of their champion of Kent championship, plus their normal championship. Race one saw Matt Simpson soon move from third on the grid into the lead. He maintained a three second cushion to Lewis Smith, who resisted an impressive run from the back of the grid by Chris Brockhurst. Fuel pump issues in qualifying had relegated Brockhurst to 18th starting position, but his clinical move through the field was a highlight. The initial start had been aborted, after a tangle going into Chesson’s Drift had eliminated Thurley and Young. The re-start saw the usual position squabbling as Simon Smith held off a determined Malcolm Blackman. Chris Ayling brought his immaculate Tigra into sixth spot, after David Brooks suffered a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits. Ross Loram took seventh spot with Brooks in eighth. Ray Harris and Kurt Russell completed the top ten. The draw for the second race showed Loram in pole position. He again made life difficult for the faster runners by quite fairly defending his position. Brockhurst was the first to usurp the postman and he pulled away to take the win by five seconds. Another good drive by Lewis Smith netted him the runner up spot, as Matt Simpson took a while to appear in third. Loram held on to fourth and deservedly won the driver of the day award. Ayling came home fifth, taking the senior cup for the second time in one day. Brooks was a bit subdued in sixth as Burrows took seventh. Russell did well to hold off Harding (winner of the best prepared car award) and Harris, whilst Simon Smith was sent into a spin and lost a good position, so had to settle for 11th. Robertson, Adams, Young and Steward completed the finishers. One major non-finisher was the leader of both championships Malcolm Blackman. His car’s engine simply died at the start of the race and luckily everyone avoided the slowing red Tigra. Another retiree was Ricky Hunn after his gearbox broke.

When the points for the champion of Kent were all totted up it emerged that Chris Brockhurst had won the title. The four winners of the Avon tyre prizes went to Kurt Russell, Steve Burrows, Malcolm Blackman and Matt Simpson.

QMN The Sunday part of the meeting featured the Quaife Motorsport News saloons. Rod Birley planted his Escort WRC on pole position, but he was alone on the front. Lydden expert Bill Richards had qualified second, only to suffer more transmission issues, so he missed the first race. Andy Banham latched onto Birley from the second rolling start, after the first attempt was red flagged when Graham Richardson beached his Vauxhall Nova at Paddock Bend. Banham kept Rod honest all the way to the chequered flag. After a race long battle Tom Knight secured third position, from the indecently fast Vauxhall Nova of Jezz Francis. Both won their respective classes, namely B and E, as did Tony Paxman (class D) in fifth overall. Pete Winstone went well in sixth pursued by class C winner Dave Charlton. Woods-Dean, Rossiter and Winch completed the top ten.

Race two saw a lightning start by Tom Knight and he emerged first out of Chessons Drift. The blue BMW held the lead for four laps until Birley found a way past going through Paddock Bend. Unfortunately Knight then received a black/orange flag as his brake lights were not working. By the time he realised the problem a black flag had appeared, which sadly eliminated the man from Chipstead. Banham therefore inherited second, but soon closed in on the leader and finished just 0.304 of a second behind. Bill Richards charged all the way though to third, winning class D and the driver of the day award. Paxman kept the overall championship lead by finishing fourth, as Woods-Dean took fifth and class E honours. Again Winstone went well in sixth, finishing right on the tail of last year’s champion. Liptrott claimed class C honours in seventh, from Rossiter and Charlton. Steve Dann had a reliable run to tenth overall and he also won class B for the first time this year. Matthew Turner’s very smart BMW E36 M3 claimed the best prepared car award.

So a very busy weekend for the BARC south east team finished ahead of schedule, as several people lined up for the race truck rides. All three championships, plus the sevenesque series, head off to Snetterton next, for two days of action on the 200 circuit.

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