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Race Meeting Report, Brands Hatch, 23rd-24th September 2017

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

TinTops All three of the South East Centre’s championships were at Brands Hatch for the BARC HQ organised meeting. Returning from their away weekend at Donington were the Quaife/ Cannons Tin Tops and the Scrapco/Avon tyres Intermarque. Both of their sets of races were held on Saturday and it was the Tin Tops which kicked off proceedings.

Qualifying saw Dan Fisher continue his recent good form and he annexed pole position, with JJ Ross alongside. Rod Birley and Robert Hosier occupied row two, with all four of them covered by less than half a second. Next up was Trevor Collar in his Honda Civic followed by the leading T3 runner Steve Everson in his Saxo. Terry Searles, Kam Tunio, Mikey Day and Bradley Lane completed the top ten, with Gideon September heading class TP in 18th spot.

TinTops Race one saw Fisher blast away into the lead, with Birley edging past Ross on the inside at Druids. Hosier followed Birley’s example and took third spot, and that was the first four positions settled. Attention therefore switched to watch the progress of Ken Angell. Starting in 12th position he made steady progress up to 8th by lap five, and then 6th by lap 8. Trevor Collar put up stern resistance, until a mistake on lap 16 dropped him back to 8th and allowed Angell to be the 5th finisher. David Hutchins also made good progress to snatch 6th spot from Searles, with Tunio following Collar home in 9th. Lane rounded out the top ten. Ryan Brimsted avoided being lapped and took T3 honours, in a rare defeat for the Saxo brigade. Mikey Day having retired with a very hot engine (head gasket failure), it left Everson to finish 12th from Matt Ellis. Danny Brooker raced his BMW Mini into 14th, then came Chris Bicknell, Gideon September, Ben Forbes, Jon Wild, Craig Jackson and Marcus Bicknell. Marcus having been a pit visitor, whilst Alfie Brooker was a retirement due to a belt breaking.

TinTops Race two again saw Fisher accelerate rather early and lead from Birley, Hosier and Ross. On lap two Angell moved past Ross, as this pair moved away from Hutchins and Collar. Searles had non-started, as his MG also had a rather hot engine, whereas Day had fixed his and he was charging through the pack. Day caught the class leading Brimsted as they went into Paddock bend on lap five. Opinions differ as to what happened next, but at some point the two cars touched with the result that the red Peugeot speared into the tyre wall at unabated speed. The safety car soon appeared, so that the stricken car could be removed and Ryan was taken to the medical centre for a quick check over.

The race resumed on lap nine with Birley staying much closer to Fisher. As the lap times came down it looked like Rod had the quicker car. However, Dan just held on to take his second win and move into a healthy championship lead. Hosier was third, winning T1, whilst Angell lost out to Ross in a drag race to the finish line. The Vauxhall edged it by 0.25 of a second. Hutchins held off Collar, whilst Alfie Brooker had a good run into ninth just behind Tanio. Lane was again 10th, followed by Everson, winning T3, then came Danny Brooker and Ellis. Marcus just beat his son Chris, with Forbes, September, Wild and Jackson completing the finishers. Day retired and also received a three point penalty on his licence. Tunio won the best prepared car award, with Angell taking the bubbly for driver of the day. The championship is now between Fisher and Ross, with Dan only needing 13 points.

Intermarque The Intermarques had their best grid of the year, with 22 starters. Ricky Hunn at long last had his new Mazda RX8, which meant his Corrado had Chris Whiteman behind the steering wheel. Chris Brockhurst returned for the first time this year and posted the third quickest time behind Lewis Smith and Malcolm Blackman. Ian Hales lined up fourth, with Thurley and Hunn on row three. Richard Smith, Reuben Taylor, Steve Burrows and Keith White were next, with Tom Fuller in his father’s Mercedes in 11th.

Intermarque Race one followed a familiar pattern at Brands Hatch, in that Lewis Smith led initially until lap 7. This is when Blackman got better drive exiting Clearways and swept into the lead. Lewis tried gamely to hang on, but it seemed like Malcolm’s car was handling slightly better and he took a three second win. Brockhurst kept them both in sight, showing he had lost none of his pace, but was ultimately 2.5 seconds further back. Hales looked a bit lonely in fourth once he had shook off an early challenge from Burrows. Steve seemed to be struggling as he also slipped back behind the senior winner Thurley. Next up were a battling Taylor, Richard Smith and White. Although they crossed the finish line in this order, Richard was docked five seconds for exceeding track limits and dropped behind Keith. Joe Russell completed the top ten in his very smart Audi. Young, Spinks, Steward, Luffarelli, Homewood and Timm all finished in this order. In the retirements camp were Whiteman (lack of brakes), Walter (over heating), Blackford (ventilated engine block), Hunn (warning flag, yes it was only a warning Ricky), Ayling (misfire) and Fuller.

For race two Russell was on pole position, courtesy of Mike Thurley drawing the semi reversed grid. Surprisingly the first lap did not see as much overtaking as usual, which allowed Joe to lead for two laps. Brockhusrt was the first one to usurp the Audi, and he lead for another two laps before Blackman hit the front. Lewis Smith followed him through into second spot a lap later, but then had a costly spin at Graham Hill bend. Brockhurst therefore retook second, whilst Lewis resumed in third just in front of his father. Burrows had also spun in sympathy, although there may have been some fluid on the track. Richard Smith was busy fending off White again, who soon had Hales for company. Thurley was holding off Taylor for 7th as they were being caught by a fast moving Hunn. The Mazda looked good on its debut and was very well presented.

Intermarque Meanwhile Blackman serenely went on his way to a second win, maintaining his 100% record at Brands Hatch this year. Brockhurst appeared to be losing some fluid, but hung on to be runner up with Lewis a bit disappointed in third. A last lap “sort out”, possibly on some oil or other liquid, saw the demise of Taylor, whilst Richard Smith and Hales pitted after their spins. Burrows fought back to fourth, with White in fifth winning the senior division. Next up was Thurley, followed initially by Hunn, but a five second track limits penalty dropped him behind Young and Russell. Steward went well for tenth, passing Ayling in the closing stages. Timm was 12th despite a rear window pointing skywards and acting like a wind break. Volker got the driver of the day award for his cheerful tenacity. Hales, Spinks, Homewood and Richard Smith were the remaining classified finishers. The Avon tyre awards went to Steve Burrows, John Steward and Toby Homewood.

QMS The Quaife modified saloons had to wait until Sunday for their two races, but it did allow four Tin top drivers to join in for a bit of fun. These were Jon Wild, Ben Forbes, Ken Angell and Bob Hosier. Qualifying was quite dramatic for championship leader Rod Birley as he had a turbo hose clip break immediately he went out onto the track. Quick work by his team saw him back out and clinching pole position by just 0.018 of a second from Malcolm Wise. Paul Adams was only 0.061 further back, with Andy Banham only 0.67 adrift. Close indeed! Andrew MacKenzie headed row three with leading class C runner David Cowan alongside. Missing was Graham Crowhurst from row four, but Riku Garner was present in 8th. Sean Fairweather and Martyn Scott were 9th and 10th. Hosier was quickest in the tin top group, which started behind the QMS runners.

QMS Birley led the orderly start, as he edged out Wise into Paddock bend, with Adams in third followed by MacKenzie and Banham. Andy regained fourth on lap three, with Skelton passing MacKenzie on lap five. Adams started to slow on lap six and suddenly dropped down the order with a sick sounding engine. Birley continued to edge clear of Wise, who came under attack from Banham in the closing stages, as Rod took the chequered flag. Malcolm hung on to second from Andy, with Skelton in fourth winning class B. Quite a way back was class C winner Cowan, then it was the class E winner Riku Garner. Seventh went to Martyn Scott who passed a slowing MacKenzie, suffering from a lack of brakes. Next up was Fairweather winning class D from the best Tin top, namely Hosier. The ailing Adams was 11th just holding off the battling pair of Dave Charlton and Paul Watson. Newcomer Joe Dorrington (Peugeot 205) took 14th from Forbes and Wild. Angell retired with a lack of brakes, whilst Mark Cripps, Steve Dann and Chris Southcott also failed to finish.

Race two started with a bang as Banham and Skelton came together at Druids. No blame was apportioned, although the Renault Clio driver lost a lap regaining the circuit. Meanwhile Birley had a healthy lead as the similar car of Wise had developed a misfire. By lap 3 Banham was through into second albeit six seconds behind Birley and with Skelton in between. Adams went past Wise on lap six, although three laps later his electrical issues returned and he tumbled down the order. On lap 10 things turned a bit nasty at Druids as Dorrington understeered very wide going through the hairpin. Cripps was clipped by the errant Peugeot as it regained the racing line, then Charlton hit the blue 205 very hard in the side. As both cars were stranded the safety car appeared very suddenly in front of Birley. Luckily Rod slowed almost to a stop and Skelton nipped past to effectively unlap himself. This meant he was then waved by to regain the tail of the field.

QMS Amidst the confusion Fairweather picked up a puncture, but continued to circulate as the safety car had slowed everyone down. With the clock ticking it became obvious that the race might only get one green flag lap. However, just as the safety car pulled off Adams stopped going along Cooper Straight. The leaders were shown a chequered flag instead of a green flag, which was probably the safest option. The net result was another win for Birley and the news that he had provisionally clinched the championship for the second year running. Banham was pleased to take second, as Wise limped home third from Cowan. Garner was impressive again in 5th followed by a battered Cripps and then Hosier, Hall and Angell. Skelton was classified tenth, also winning class B, from Fairweather winning class D. Scott, Forbes and Wild rounded out the finishers. Both Dorrington and Charlton were physically OK after the heavy shunt, although the Peugeot driver was subsequently penalised.

Next Race Meeting:

12-13 May 2018
Brands Hatch
TinTops, Modified Saloons and Intermarque

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery Modified Saloon Car and TinTop
2nd April 2018

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque,
1st April 2018

Last Race Results

Modified Saloon Car:

1. Adrian Bradley
2. Steve Rothery
3. Andy Thompson
See full results

TinTop:

1. Rikki Taylor
2. Dan Fisher
3. Bob Hosier
See full results

Intermarque:

1. Malcolm Blackman
2. Steve Burrows
3. Chris Ayling
See full results

2018 Championship Leaders:

BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car:

Steve Rothery and Adrian Bradley
See full standings

BARC SEC TinTop:

Rikki Taylor
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Malcolm Blackman See full standings