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Brands Hatch, 29th-30th April 2017 Meeting Report

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

QMS The Quaife modified saloons kicked off our weekend with both their races on Saturday. A slightly disappointing entry of 15 cars took the track, with Rod Birley securing pole position. An odd fact is that Birley was the youngest driver out of the first four on the grid. Lining up alongside the black Escort WRC was Tony Skelton in his very rapid Renault Clio turbo. Next up was Malcolm Wise, going better in his Escort, followed by Bill Richards in his class D leading Mini clubman. Paul Adams headed row three with Steve Rothery alongside, then came championship leader Sean Fairweather, followed by Riku Garner. Altough his BMW was a bit smokey Mark Cripps was ninth quickest, then came Samuel Taylor. Andy Banham ended his qualifying a bit early by gyrating into the gravel at Paddock bend, but he still lined up eleventh. Rounding out the grid were Dave Charlton, Martyn Scott, Kenny Hunt and a troubled Dale Gent. The black Subaru had a fly by wire throttle issue, but the team were hopeful of getting it sorted for the race.

QMS The first race saw Birley time the start well, as he headed the pack closely pursued by Skelton. All eyes were on the progress of Gent, who was up to fifth by the end of lap two. By lap four he was third, and it was not long before he was looming large in Birley’s mirrors. The inevitable happened on lap six and it was now a case of how quick would the Subaru go once in the lead. In no time there was a seven second lead, but then on lap 12 there was a tell tale plume of smoke as Gent went into Druids hairpin. Birley then swept back into the lead, with Skelton still only a few seconds adrift. The Clio driver was coming under pressure from Wise, but he maintained a two second gap. The first three were covered by just under five seconds as the chequered flag appeared. Into fourth came Adams, who along with Banham managed to get the better of Richards. Seventh went to Rothery, who also took class E honours, followed by Fairweather and Scott. Charlton held off the battling Clios of Taylor and Garner, with Hunt completing the finishers. Cripps retired with a loose switch, whilst Gent had head gasket failure.

QMS Race two was without Gent and Wise (wheel bearing issue), but Cripps had fixed his BMW. The pattern at the front was the same with Birley keeping the charging Skelton at arm’s length, until the safety car appeared. Fairweather had had a clash with Adams and ended up in the Druids gravel trap (no blame attributed). Once the red Sierra was moved to a position of safety the racing re-commenced. Birley had a good re-start with Skelton slotting into second. Banham was up to third, whilst a charging Cripps made very good progress to claim fourth. Richards got the better of Adams this time, with Rothery getting his second trophy for winning class E. Taylor and Garner battled past Charlton, whilst Hunt (despite a quick pit stop) completed the finishers. Birley now heads the points, with Charlton and Fairweather equal second.

TinTops The Tin Tops had a good turnout, which was why they were promoted to the Sunday. Qualifying saw 25 cars take to the track, but the red flags appeared almost immediately as Trevor Collar spun at Paddock bend and was accidently collected by Matt Turner. Once the session re-strated there was a real battle for pole position which finally went the way of Rod Birley in the Bevan owned Honda Integra. Second was JJ Ross in the T1 Vauxhall Astra, followed by Dan Fisher, Robert Hosier and Chris Whiteman. These five were covered by 0.6 of a second, which explains why this championship is becoming so popular. Rikki Taylor was quickest in T3 with his Ford Fiesta, whilst Gideon September was out in the TP class with the Ford Puma which was driven by Birley at Snetterton. Curiously Phil Usher qualified in the wrong session, but was allowed to join in at the back.

TinTops The rolling start for race one saw Birley and Ross go side by side through Paddock bend and at Druids Fisher squeezed up the inside of Birley. As the two ran side by side down into Graham Hill bend Birley locked up and tried hard to avoid t-boning the Honda Civic. Instead there was some side contact and somehow everyone survived with Ross in front and Fisher second. Both Whiteman and Hosier had also demoted Birley, but the five cars were all still together. In T3 Taylor had annexed sixth overall and the class lead, putting Richardson’s class T2 Honda between himself and Mikey Day’s normally pace setting Saxo. Day had Rossiter’s T1 class Mini Cooper for company, and later on they were joined by Terry Searles, back in his MG ZR.

The leading five were still circulating close together, until the order changed as Fisher slid wide at Paddock bend and Whiteman slipped through into second. As Birley challenged Hosier for fourth the red flags suddenly appeared because Chris Bicknell had spun into the (yes you have guessed it) Paddock bend gravel trap. So Ross took another outright victory, with Whiteman winning T2, Taylor took T3 and September TP. A special word must go to Matt Turner’s team who tried valiantly to repair the Renault Megane, only for it to fail on the warm up lap.

TinTops Following several delays and accidents (in other races) the second race took to the track at 18.14. A chaotic rolling start, which saw Ross accelerate very early, saw the Vauxhall well in the lead by the time the red lights went out. Whiteman clung onto second, until lap two when Fisher again squeezed through going into Druids. Birley was harassing Hosier for fourth, when sixth placed Rikki Taylor had a monumental moment at Paddock bend. The Fiesta barrel rolled and ended up close to a tree. The race was immediately curtailed as the stricken driver received medical attention.

Fortunately his injuries were confined to a broken finger and concussion. A trip to hospital was therefore on the cards. Since then Rikki has expressed his thanks to everyone who helped him and his family after the accident.

In the end Ross was declared the winner, with Fisher winning T2. Mikey Day took T3 honours and September TP. A sad end to what promised to be a very exciting race.

Next Race Meeting:

See you in 2019

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery BARC SEC TinTop Championship,
17th November 2018

Latest gallery BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car and TinTop Championship,
22nd September 2018

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque Championship,
22nd September 2018

Last Race Results

Modified Saloon Car:

1. Rod Birley
2. Steve Rothery
3. Malcolm Wise
See full results


1. Kamran Tunio
2. Kevin Palmer
3. Steve Everson
See full results


1. Steve Burrows
2. CHris Brockhurst
3. Lewis Smith
See full results

2018 Championship Winners (Provisional):

BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car:

Adrian Bradley
See full standings


Rikki Taylor
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Lewis Smith
See full standings