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Scrapco Avon Intermarque with Sevenesque race report,
Brands Hatch, 5th November 2016

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

Intermarque With a rather slippery track the Intermarque were the first south east centre group to qualify on Saturday morning. Along with six Caterhams, the turnout was in fact very good. Mick Robertson, Chris Brockhurst, Ben Taylor and Malcolm Harding were all back, although Malcolm was trying out a sequential gearbox so not scoring any points. The quickest time was set by Anthony Bennett in his R300 Caterham, but he would not be on pole position as the Caterhams would be having their own race behind the Intermarque. So Simon Smith occupied pole position despite hitting the pit wall and gyrating along Brabham straight! Third quickest was Harding, although he was relegated to 20th spot because of his experimental gearbox. Steve Burrows therefore took the other front row slot. 2016 champion Malcolm Blackman was on the inside of row two with Ben Taylor alongside. Reuben Taylor headed up row three, followed by Brockhurst, Lewis Smith, Chris Ayling, Mike Thurley and Richard Smith rounding out the top ten. Bennett headed the Caterhams from Colin Watson, Tim Davis, Rob Singleton, Peter Hargroves and Peter French.

Intermarque 19 Intermarque and 6 Caterhams started the first race as Volker Timm was missing from the grid. Simon Smith eased into the lead with his repaired BMW, as everyone struggled to find some sort of grip. Anthony Bennett spun before Paddock bend and Chris Ayling slid into the gravel exiting the same corner, which highlighted how tricky the conditions were. The safety car immediately joined in, so that Ayling could move from his precarious position. The re-start two laps later saw Simon Smith still lead, but Blackman took up the top spot on lap 5. Taken advantage of their wet tyres were Richard Smith, moving from 10th to 3rd, and Ricky Hunn, going from 19th to 5th. Even Mr. Cheese (Philip Young) was going well climbing from 14th to 7th. Clearly the drivers using either two or four grooved tyres were gaining an advantage, but it was certainly good to see.

Intermarque As the race progressed Hunn took the lead on lap 8, after some vintage overtaking around the outside. To the delight of his noisy fans the yellow Corrado started to pull away until another safety car intervention. With so much going on it was also good to see Ian Hales have a decent race, as he appeared in 6th having started 15th. Ian was trading fastest lap times with Ricky. As the green flag waved Blackman tried to put Hunn under pressure but then ran ride at Clearways. Richard Smith sniffed an opportunity and drew alongside, but the red Tigra was just ahead as they crossed the timing line. Hales moved up to fourth, past Simon Smith, with Burrows also looking for a way through. There was action all through the field as the final lap board appeared, although Hunn had now got a two second cushion and took a well received win. Blackman clung onto second with his slick tyres, whilst Richard Smith had his best result of the year in third. Hales was delighted with fourth, and fastest lap, whilst Burrows did get past Simon Smith. Young held off Brockhurst for 7th, as Ben Taylor slipped to 9th. Keith White rounded off the top ten, followed by John Steward, Mick Robertson and Brian Loram.

The first Caterham home was in 12th, and this was Bennett who remarkably came through from his first lap misdemeanour. Tony managed to pip Tim Davis and Colin Watson on the last lap in a close three way finish. Malcolm Harding was also in this group and finished 14th. The draw for race two saw the top 7 reversed, which meant Young was promoted to pole position.

Intermarque This time the track was much drier so slick tyres were the required choice. From second on the grid Simon Smith again eased into the lead and led for the first two laps, before Burrows demoted him. A lap later and Blackman hit the front just as the safety car appeared. Rob Singleton had been tapped into a spin at Druids by Steward and the Caterham was beached in the gravel trap. Lap 7 and the race resumed with Blackman easing away and lowering his lap times. Attention switched to the squabble for second as Lewis Smith had made stunning progress from 18th to 4th, which soon became second. Could he reel in Blackman, well sadly no. A slow puncture halted his progress and a dejected Lewis retired on lap 11. So this put Simon Smith back into second, with Burrows third and a charging Thurley up to fourth. White got the better of Hales for fifth, with Colin Watson just holding off Tim Davis in the Caterham battle for 7th overall.

With Blackman taking the chequered flag, race one winner Hunn had a good battle with Harding, but just lost out. In 11th was Ayling, followed by Reuben Taylor, Phil Blackford and the next Caterham driven by Bennett. Richard Smith, Robertson, Steward, Young and Timm finished in this order, followed by Peter French (Caterham). Ben Taylor was a couple of laps down following a pit stop, and the other retirements were Hargroves, Loram and Brockhurst.

A good end to the season for the intermarque, but if only we had seen this number all year. Hopefully 2017 will bring out more drivers as Paul Knight, amongst others, is set to join in.

Next Race Meeting:

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

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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