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Summary of the Lydden Truck Festival, 20th-21st June 2015

Saturday’s races by Rod Birley, Sunday’s races by Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

Cannons TinTops The Cannon’s Tin Tops were due to have a busy weekend with three races planned. This format was being tried for the first time, following the cancellation of the Silverstone rounds. Twenty cars lined up for the first race, with Dominic Ryan being a late withdrawal following a family member becoming ill. Barnaby Davies was a man on a mission as he soon took control at the front, closely pursued by Tom Bridger and Chris Whiteman. These three edged clear of Peter Osborne, who is still getting to grips with his Vauxhall Astra VXR. Farndon and Lewis battled over fifth spot as they dropped TP class leader Cliff Pellin in his new Fiesta, whilst Ryan Steel had the measure of the T3 runners.

At the front Bridger eased his pace as his car started to overheat. Whiteman soon pounced, but was too far back to challenge Davies who took a comfortable win. Bridger held off a fast closing Osborne to take third, with Farndon a very happy fifth (winning the driver of the race award). Carey Lewis was sixth in his very smart Honda Civic, which won him the best prepared car award. Pellin and Steel won their respective classes. The race was stopped prematurely following a big accident, which sadly resulted in Terry Searles MG ZR hitting the bank very hard coming down Hairy Hill.

The second race saw the top six positions on the starting grid reversed, but this made little difference to the top three. They soon established their race one order, although this time Bridger just held off Whiteman for the runner up spot behind Davies. Lewis upped his pace and dropped Farndon in order to battle with Osborne, which resulted in the Honda driver taking fourth overall. Osborne came home fifth with Farndon sixth. Steel and Pellin won their classes again, although in the T3 runner up spot Mikey Day usurped Lewis Turner this time. Kieron Lehane won the driver of the race award as he battled with Jamie Phillpott and Chris Brown.

The third race was held on Sunday, but this made little difference to Davies as he took another fine win. Again Bridger ran second until two thirds distance when Whiteman slipped past into the runner up spot. Pellin was the man on the move this time, as he saved his tyres to edge past Lewis and Osborne into fourth spot. Lewis retained fifth with Osborne sixth and Farndon a slightly subdued seventh. Once again Steel had class T3 sewn up, despite the close presence of TP runner Daniel Adams. Turner was runner up in T3, from Everson, Day and Taylor. Mention must go to Ken Angell, who raced his new BMW E36 for the first time. Despite the lack of a limited slip differential, he entertained the crowd with his version of drifting.

Sevenesque The Sevenesque cars had a disappointing entry of just six cars, but what they lacked in numbers they made up for in close racing. Ian Conibear had the first race under control from the start, but second place was a close contest between Tony Bennett, Peter Hargroves and Tim Bishop. All three battled hard and less than a second separated them at the chequered flag. Alistair Heys, with the only Westfield, had a good tussle with John Chasey and took fifth position in the end.

The second race had a completely reversed grid. This kept the field very close together until Bennett emerged in front. Sadly for Tony he overcooked it coming out of the Devil’s elbow and hit the tyre wall very hard. Fortunately the driver was OK, but his Caterham looked very second hand. The re-start saw Conibear again establish himself at the front, but facing constant pressure from Hargroves and Bishop. At the chequered flag less than a second covered these three after an entertaining battle. Heys was only a couple of seconds back in fourth as Chasey completed the finishers. Hopefully Donington will see a much bigger field as a generous offer of prizes has been secured.

Intermarque The Avon Tyres intermarque championship competitors were also racing for the second part of the champion of Kent trophy, so there was quite a bit at stake. Matt Simpson took the lead in race one and managed to keep Malcolm Blackman in his mirrors for the whole distance. Simon Smith was initially third, with an upbeat Ricky Hunn fourth in his new VW Corrado. However, they soon had to give best to a charging Chris Brockhurst who then set off after Blackman. Simon then came under pressure from Brooks in his smart reliveried Tigra. Hunn was still leading the senior class although Thurley was closing in, until Ricky had a spin coming out of Devils Elbow and then retired to the paddock.

The second half of the race saw Burrows chase Thurley for sixth, whilst Loram had to fend off the attentions of Ayling, Richard Smith and Young. Lewis Smith had already pulled off when his brakes jammed on going up Hairy Hill. However, this caused an anxious moment when the car later rolled across the track, just as the leaders took the chequered flag. The finishing order being Simpson, Blackman, Brockhurst, Simon Smith, Brooks, Thurley (who also won the senior class) and Burrows.

The top seven were reversed for race two, so Burrows had pole position. The race turned out to be one of the best we have seen. At one stage three cars charged down Hairy Hill abreast, all looking for the lead. Somehow they got through Paddock Bend with the car which was third now in the lead. This was the green BMW of Simon Smith, who then held the lead for five laps as the pack continued to swap places. Sadly the Z4’s gearbox started to wilt under the pressure just as Brockhurst and Simpson appeared to be beaten. An incident at the Elbow saw Blackman gyrate, and as he tried to regain the car he was accidently hit by Ricky Hunn. Poor Ricky had just taken the lead in the senior class and was on a real charge. The damaged VW once again retired, leaving Thurley to take the class honours and the senior Kentish trophy. Brooks was already missing after his gear lever broke, although he did win the best prepared car award. Meanwhile the calculators were being put to use as Blackman rejoined in tenth place, whilst Brockhurst took the lead. If Chris won Malcolm would need to be at least fourth, but if Matt got past Chris then Malcolm only had to be seventh. As the tension grew Blackman started to make up places but only got as far as eighth, but could Brockhurst hang on. Despite huge pressure from Simpson, Chris took the win by just 0.153 of a second. Simon Smith was a slightly disappointed third, although he did take the driver of the day award. Burrows was a good fourth, from Thurley and a fast closing Lewis Smith. Daniel Smith had a much better run to take seventh from the hard charging Blackman. Ayling narrowly held off Richard Smith, with Young, Steward and Reuben Taylor completing the finishers, despite Taylor having an encounter with a tyre wall. Loram was an early retirement.

As Hunn, Steward, Simpson and Daniel Smith took the Avon tyre awards, Brockhurst celebrated winning the Kentish trophy again, albeit slightly against the odds. The intermarques now travel to Donington where at least one race will be shown live on Motors TV.

MN Saloons The Motorsport News saloon car championship reached the mid way point at Lydden, and the first talking point was the lack of official timekeeping despite an FIA registered timekeeper being present. Nonetheless a quick check of the regulations meant the first grid would be based on current championship positions. This saw Rod Birley on pole position with the somewhat unusual sight of Perry Winch alongside in his class D Renault Clio. Some of the more fancied runners would be starting further back than expected, including local hero Bill Richards. Missing after practice was class A front runner Malcolm Wise, whose engine had suddenly lost all oil pressure. From the start Birley swept off into the lead whilst Winch allowed the quicker cars through. Andy Banham soon popped up in second, with Matt Turner in close pursuit. Paul Nevill was battling with Ian Butler, but we soon lost Steve Dann as his VW Golf was overheating. Winch was still sixth, but had class rival Bill Richards right on his bumper. What happened next is not clear, but it appears the two touched coming out of the North Bend hairpin. The white and blue Renault Clio then slewed across the small strip of grass and unfortunately hit the bank by the pit lane entrance. In an instant the car rolled spectacularly and the red flags were deployed. Fortunately Perry was OK, but obviously hugely disappointed. The tyre wall damage took almost 20 minutes to repair, such was the extent of the accident.

On the re-start Birley again edged clear of Banham who had Turner mounting a concerted attack. This came to an end after four laps when the white BMW M3 slid off at the Devil’s Elbow and got stuck in the gravel. Meanwhile the blue class B version of Tom Knight came on strong and he climbed through from 14th to take third. Also on the move from the back of the grid was Nick Proudlock who claimed fourth overall and class D victory, as Bill Richards non-started the re run. Towards the back of the field returnee Gary Cole had an entertaining scrap with Marcus Bicknell’s huge Ford Mustang. The big Yankee car just emerged in front at the chequered flag.

Race two was fairly straight forward as Birley scampered off to consolidate his championship lead. Banham drove hard to take second again, which earnt him the driver of the day award. Knight looked to be heading for third, until problems struck his BMW and he retired on lap ten. Proudlock then had a foot on the final podium position, until Bill Richards came charging through from the back. These two then had a terrific dice all the way to the finish, with the MK.1 Escort just edging out the Mini Clubman. Ian Butler had a better run in fifth spot, also taking class B honours, with Turner coming though to sixth and heading two other class C runners (Cripps and Nevill). Dave Charlton was a solid ninth, followed by Scott, Fairweather and Skelton. Cole won his battle with Bicknell this time, and also took the class E win. Marcus had the consolation of winning the best prepared car award and three months worth of Motorsport News.

Next Race Meeting:

18th-19th November 2017
Brands Hatch
QMN and TinTops Non-Championship

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery Quaife Modified Saloons with Cannons TinTops,
24th September 2017

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque,
23rd September 2017

Latest gallery Quaife Cannons TinTops,
23rd September 2017

Last Race Results

Quaife Modified Saloons:

1. Andy Banham
2. Graham Crowhurst
3. Matthew Turner
See full results

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

1. Rod Birley
2. Dan Fisher
3. James J.J. Ross
See full results

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

1. Malcolm Blackman
2. Matt Simpson
3. Daniel Smith
See full results

2017 Champions (Provisional):

Quaife Modified Saloons:

Rod Birley
See full standings

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

Dan Fisher
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Malcolm Blackman See full standings