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Brands Hatch, 19th-20th August 2017 Meeting Report

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

QMS A new event came to Brands Hatch at the weekend, with the inaugural Deutsche Fest. This was a celebration of mainly German racing cars, along with food and trade stalls highlighting German products. There was even a Beer tent complete with oompah band, which certainly kept everyone entertained, particularly on Saturday evening by all accounts.

The meeting started with race one for the Quaife modified saloons. Rod Birley annexed pole position and he was joined on the front row by Paul Adams in his class B Ford Focus RS. Malcolm Wise headed row two in his yellow Ford Escort Cosworth with Tony Skelton alongside. Then came Andy Banham, followed by class E pace setter Riku Garner in his Renault Clio. Bill Richards lined up 7th in his class D leading Mini, from quickest class C driver namely David Cowan. Michael Eustace and Sam Taylor rounded out the top ten. It was nice to see Matt Turner returning in his BMW to take 12th spot, just behind Sean Fairweather. Mark Cripps, Dave Charlton Martyn Scott and Paul Restall completed the starters, following the demise of Steve Dann’s VW Golf with engine maladies.

QMS Birley led away from the rolling start. As is customary he was chased hard by Wise, in his similar Ford. Paul Adams slotted into third, keeping at bay the Renault Clio of Skelton. These four quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, led by Banham in his Subaru Impreza.

Skelton was the first to falter, as he had a couple of minor off course excursions and dropped back, but still maintained fourth position. Likewise the pace soon told on Adams, as he became detached from the two leaders, but again he was safe in third spot. So it was left to Wise to challenge Birley, and although the Londoner set the fastest lap time, Birley held on to win by just over one second. Banham was safe in fifth, but behind him there was a big battle between the BMWs. Eventually it went in favour of returnee Turner, just beating Cowan by 0.3 of a second. Garner took 7th and won class E, followed by Richards (winning class D). Bill was the meat in a Clio sandwich, as Taylor was right on the Mini’s boot lid. Fairweather, Eustace, Scott, Charlton and Cripps rounded out the finishers. Restall pulled off just before the chequered flag.

QMS The second race was slightly spoilt by Skelton colliding with Wise on the opening lap as they went into Surtees corner. Adams took avoiding action, which gifted Birley a healthy 5.5 second lead at the end of lap one. Banham had squeezed through into second position and set about trying to catch the black Escort. In fact the gap was reduced to 4 seconds by the end of lap four, but then Rod started to ease away again. Adams recovered to third position quite quickly, but Wise had much more ground to make up. He eventually got back to fourth and was awarded the driver of the race prize. Meanwhile Birley calmly took his second win and maintained his overall championship lead. In the battle of the BMWs Eustace upped his pace and claimed the honours in fifth overall. Turner was sixth with Garner repeating his first race result. Richards claimed class D, pursued by Cowan this time. Bill’s sparring partner (Sam Taylor) spun on the rolling start lap, so he finished back in tenth this time. Fairweather, Scott, Charlton and Restall were all one lap behind, but reached the chequered flag safely. Skelton was black flagged for loose bodywork, and Cripps had what appeared to be a transmission failure.

TinTops On Sunday it was the turn of the Quaife/Cannons Tin Tops to show off. Birley jumped into the Jonathan and Peter Bevan owned Honda Integra, and in qualifying secured second position, behind championship contender Dan Fisher in his Honda Civic. Row two saw the class T1 cars of Bob Hosier (Seat) and James Ross (Vauxhall Astra). Proving how competitive this championship is, the first four were covered by less than half a second. Normally we would expect Chris Whiteman to be in this group, but a dropped valve in his Honda Civic’s engine meant he was a non-starter.

TinTops Lining up fifth was Graham Richardson with the similar Honda Civic of Trevor Collar alongside. Terry Searles planted his MG onto row four, followed by Ken Angell then the leading Saxo of Steve Everson. Mikey Day and Ryan Brimsted were right on Everson’s tail, so a tight battle was expected here. Heading the TP class was Gideon September, driving the Colin tester owned Ford Puma, followed by Vince Wheeler in his Renault Clio.

From the rolling start Fisher slotted his Honda Civic into the lead as Birley defended second position from fellow West Kingsdown racer Hosier. The Seat Leon unfortunately broke a drive shaft on lap four, which meant instant retirement. This allowed Birley to concentrate on catching the leader. Gradually the gap came down as both drivers extracted the maximum speed from their cars.

TinTops By lap five there was less than half a second between the two leaders. The crowd were then treated to some very close racing as the veteran Birley tried to find a way past. After two side by side moments coming out of Druids, the chink finally appeared in Fisher’s armour. Going into Druids hairpin on lap 12 Dan went slightly wide. In an instant Rod was alongside and just managed to get in front by Graham Hill bend. With Fisher hitting his steering wheel in frustration Birley just edged out a small gap. Two laps later and the race was prematurely halted as Brimsted’s Peugeot 106 car stopped in a dangerous position.

On count back Birley still won, but further back there some surprises. Ross was a safe third (winning T1), with Richardson fourth, albeit untimed due to a lack of transponder signal. Collar had the measure of Searles, whilst Everson fought off Day and Brimsted. This trio had Alfie Brooker and Bradley Lane for company as well, so it was doubly exciting to watch. The results show Brooker in 7th, from Everson, Lane and Day. Wheeler put Adrian Matthews between himself and September in order to secure class TP honours. Chris Bicknell completed the finishers, after Angell pulled off with electrical issues.

TinTops The final race saw Birley on pole position from Fisher. With the track conditions considerably cooler a fast race was expected. Sure enough Rod blasted away and set some blistering times, breaking the lap record on lap four with a time of 54.483 seconds an average of 79.81 miles per hour. Fisher tried hard to stay with the leader, but gradually slipped back to finish two seconds adrift. James Ross came home a lonely third as Hosier climbed to fourth with his repaired car. Bob was awarded the driver of the day prize for his effort. Even though his transponder was still not working, Richardson came home fifth (without any specific lap times). Collar was good for sixth, from Searles and the battling Saxos. This time Day took the class honours, but only by 0.3 of a second from Everson. Brimsted tried very hard to join in the fun, setting the T3 fastest lap time, but got stuck behind Lane’s T2 Peugeot. Matthews escaped from Wheeler this time, so Vince had to fend off September on his own. Chris Bicknell again completed the classified finishers in his father’s blue Saxo. Marcus being away competing in America. Alfie Brooker suffered another retirement and a damaged car, as the towing eye and some bodywork got pulled off.

The Tin tops now travel away to Donington on September 2nd, whilst the next round of for the QMS championship is on the Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch on September 10th.

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