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Quaife Motorsport News Saloons Championship
with Quaife Cannons TinTops Invitation race report,
Brands Hatch GP, 17th April 2016

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

Brands Hatch GP The Quaife Motorsport News saloon car championship had its annual outing on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on Sunday. There was also a non-championship group of Cannons Tin top drivers who were invited to join in.

Qualifying was a chaotic affair as several drivers had incidents and accidents around the 2.43 mile track. Andrew MacKenzie hit the tyre wall hard coming out of Surtees, whilst Dave Charlton had a front suspension breakage going through Stirlings. This meant that most competitors only had a couple of laps in which to set a time. The net result was a slightly different looking grid with Dan Cowan on pole position in his potent Ford Sierra RS500. Next to him would be Gavin Thomson having his first go in a class A Seat Supercopa. On row two Rod Birley lined up on the inside of Malcolm Wise, with the BMWs of Laurie Grant and Jamie Liptrott occupying row four. The quickest Tin top runner was Steve Cassar from Bob Hosier, Vic Hope, James Alford and Ken Angell.

Brands Hatch GP Race one saw Dan Cowan make a good start with Thomson trying an outside line at Druids. This allowed Birley to slip through into second, and on the run down to Graham Hill bend he dived past Cowan. As the RS500 went to turn in, the red Seat made very light contact. However, this was enough to see Cowan gyrate and cause the field to take evasive action. Luckily nobody hit the Sierra and Cowan was able to rejoin. Meanwhile Birley had made a dramatic escape, completing lap one almost six seconds ahead of Wise. Thomson continued in third, whilst Cowan started a remarkable recovery drive, which eventually netted him fourth place and the fastest lap of the race.

Brands Hatch GP Another driver who was making progress, after starting way down the grid, was Tony Skelton in his Renault Clio turbo. Each lap he made up several positions, until reaching the class B lead and claiming fifth overall. Pantellis Christoforou had led the class initially, but once Skelton swept by he hung on to the runner up spot. Andy Woods-Dean took class D honours even though he had no compatriots. This did not stop him having a good battle with Andy Banham’s Subaru and Mike Chittenden’s BMW. Not far behind was James Ross in his Clio, who had the measure of the BMW duo of Cripps and Crowhurst. This meant that JJ won class C. Andy Pipe took class E honours, although again he was missing any playmates. In the Tin tops section it was Steve Cassar all the way, claiming 18th overall. Behind him there was a close tussle between Hosier, Hope and Dan Fisher. Angell got the better of Alford, with Alan Breck completing the finishers.

Brands Hatch GP Race two was right at the end of the day, and although it was shortened slightly it still provided a good contest. Birley was chased much harder by Wise this time, but the closer battle was for the final podium spot as Thomson and Cowan slugged it out. With a section of track under permanent yellow flag, due to barrier damage in the GT race, it made over taking a little difficult. Cowan again set the fastest lap, as he finally claimed third and the driver of the day award. Skelton ran very strongly to win class B again, whilst Christoforou had to see off the attentions of Graham Crowhurst and Chittenden. Cripps took class C honours from Grant as Ross slipped to third in this group. Pipe and Woods-Dean took their respective classes, as the Escort Mk.1 driver passed the Honda pilot for 14th overall.

Cassar again won the Tin Tops group, and then promptly announced it was his last race. Fisher got the better of Hope, to make it a Honda trio on the podium. Angell took class T1 honours after Hosier had a brief excursion, with Chris Bicknell claiming T3 and Breck winning TP, although neither had any opposition unfortunately.

Birley was presented with a special trophy from MSV for his 200th win at Brands Hatch. The presentation was made by Philip McGarvey, who is the chairman of Sevenoaks district council.

Next Race Meeting:

See you in 2019

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Last Race Results

Modified Saloon Car:

1. Rod Birley
2. Steve Rothery
3. Malcolm Wise
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1. Kamran Tunio
2. Kevin Palmer
3. Steve Everson
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1. Steve Burrows
2. CHris Brockhurst
3. Lewis Smith
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2018 Championship Winners (Provisional):

BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car:

Adrian Bradley
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Rikki Taylor
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Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Lewis Smith
See full standings