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Sevenesque / Allcomers race report,
Brands Hatch, 30th July 2016

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

Sevenesque Sadly the combined Sevenesque and Allcomers did not produce the expected number of entries, which is disappointing for the centre. In the end 12 cars turned up and it was no surprise to see Dale Gent secure pole position in a time of 49.5 seconds. Rod Birley lined up second in his familiar Ford Escort WRC, but he was almost a second slower. Quickest Sevenesque was Colin Watson, driving Christian Pittard’s potent Caterham, posting a time of 50.956 seconds. Next up was Anthony Bennett in his C300, followed by Hugh Coulter (C400) and the class 4 car of Rob Grant. It was a welcome return for Merrick Linnett in 7th spot, followed by Shaun Elwell and Peter Hargroves. TVR man Tim Davis was having a first go in a BOSS racing Caterham and he lined up 10th. Marcus Bicknell in his mighty Mustang was 11th and Rob Singleton completed the grid in his class 2 Caterham C400.

Sevenesque Although it had stopped raining by the time the cars headed to the grid, there was still a lot of moisture laying on the track. Gent had opted for wet weather tyres, whereas Birley took a gamble on slicks. Most of the Caterhams use a list 1C treaded tyre so their choice was not so critical. An unfamiliar standing start almost caught out the two front row occupants, but they both realised in time what was happening. Gent did as the programme suggested and disappeared into a huge lead, until he was called into the pits. The scrutineers had noticed something hanging down at the rear of the car, but upon inspection it appeared to be a towing loop. In the meantime Birley slithered past into the lead, but his slick tyres were still not working and Gent soon re-took the lead as Watson started to close on Birley. Initially Linnett had held third spot as he battled with Bennett, but then Watson got into his stride and by lap 7 he was third.

Sevenesque Further back there was a lovely little battle between Bicknell, Singleton and Coulter. The big Mustang dwarfed the two Caterhams, but they battled away undeterred. As the track eventually started to dry, Birley pegged back Gent to a winning margin of 4.5 seconds. Watson never gave up in third and in fact set the fastest lap time on the final tour. Linnett just held onto to fourth as Davis took fifth only 0.1 of a second behind. Bennett was only 0.9 further back in sixth. Hargroves in seventh had Grant and Elwell right in his wheel tracks. Singleton got the better of Bicknell, after Coulter retired.

Sevenesque Race two was on a completely dry track, and the two four wheel drive saloons blasted away from the standing start. Bennett made a demon getaway to run third, with Watson fourth. This time Birley was hanging on to Gent and for a while it looked as though we might finally see a proper contest. Sadly it was not to be, as the black Escort dived into the pits on lap nine. Rod thought he had a puncture, but it was a power steering belt which had broken. The team sent him back out, so he could he could have a work out. With Gent now unchallenged he eased his pace, but all eyes were on the Caterham battle. Bennett held off Watson until lap six, but from then on Colin just had enough of a gap to keep Anthony at bay. Into fourth came a very racy Davis, winning class 3 and thoroughly enjoying his Caterham debut. He was under a second behind Bennett at the flag. Fifth spot went to a fairly lonely Elwell with Hargroves a steady sixth. Birley man handled his Escort back to 7th, with Singleton power sliding his Caterham to 8th. Bicknell completed the finishers as Linnett, Coulter and Grant failed to go the distance.

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