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Quaife Motorsport News Saloons Championship race report,
Brands Hatch, 25th -26th June 2016

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

QMN Saloons BARC HQ were in charge for this meeting, which saw the QMN modified saloons qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Welcome new additions included Jo Polley (BMW Mini), Tim Sandhu (ex-Rick May Ford Escort Cosworth) and Damon Astin (Mini Miglia). Returning for the first time this year was Dan Palmer (Mitsubishi Evo).

Qualifying took place on a dry track despite regular thunderstorms passing by. The grid took on a now familiar pattern with Dale Gent securing pole position in a time of 50.021 seconds. Rod Birley lined up second, 0.841 of a second adrift of the swift Subaru. Malcolm Wise placed his Escort Cosworth third with Dan Cowan’s RS500 Sierra fourth. Heading row three was class B front runner Tony Skelton in his turbo charged Renault Clio, with class rival Graham Crowhurst alongside in his BMW E46. In seventh spot was the first class C competitor which was Jamie Liptrott in his E36 BMW, followed by Dan Palmer. The top ten were completed by Stephen Dann (VW Golf) and Jo Polley.

QMN Saloons The races on Sunday also took place on a dry track, and straight away Gent powered into the lead as the red lights went out. Birley fended off Wise, with Cowan fourth from Skelton. On lap 8 Wise pulled off as a result of a driveshaft problem, and although Gent slackened his pace Birley was unable to mount a challenge finishing 2.78 seconds adrift. Cowan motored home third, just over 20 seconds further back. Skelton again headed class B in fourth overall, with Dan Palmer climbing up to fifth. Crowhurst was just behind in sixth as Liptrott took class C honours in seventh.

The first lapped runner was Andy Banham in eighth, who was being caught by a charging Martyn Scott. Scott had started down in 18th so his progress through the mid field was impressive. Adam Mew completed the top ten in his green Escort Cosworth. Dashing back from his summer holiday was Laurie Grant, who despite missing Saturday’s qualifying went from 21st to 11th, which netted him the driver of the day award. Michael Eustace was just 0.332 of a second behind Grant, which also saw Jo Polley fending off Sandhu in a tight group. Only a quarter of a second further back was Andy Pipe, winning class E but only just from the three wheeling Mini of Astin. Dave Charlton and Jamie Vanns completed the finishers after both Dann and Mark Cripps retired.

QMN Saloons Race two saw Wise line up at the back of the grid, as again Gent led the field away. Cowan charged up alongside Birley going into the Druids hairpin, but Rod just held on through Graham Hill bend. Mean while Gent made his escape and by lap three he was already 3.7 seconds in front of Birley. However, the gap suddenly shrunk by two seconds on lap five and at last it looked like the two protagonists might be lining up for a battle. It was not to be as the black Subaru peeled into the pit lane whilst the black Escort took the lead. As Cowan slowly dropped back all eyes focused on Wise’s progress. From 20th on lap one, Malcolm moved up to seventh by lap 8. On the next lap he was sixth, but it took a while to gain the next position. Lap 14 saw him squeeze past the battling duo of Banham and Crowhurst, and then Palmer became the next victim as the yellow Escorth Cosworth made it up to third.

QMN Saloons To the delight of the Ford RS owners club, the podium was locked out by Birley, Cowan and Wise all driving Ford machines. With Skelton retiring on lap 7, it looked like Palmer was set for fourth spot. However, a late charge from Banham saw him snatch the position on the last lap, with Crowhurst shadowing the class A cars in sixth and taking class B honours. Seventh spot went to Cripps, who like Wise started at the back of the grid. His battle with the similar car of Grant looked very intense and there were certainly no team orders in this camp. Sandhu completed the top ten and also won the best prepared car award. Mew finished 11th just in front of Polley, as they edged clear of Eustace. Charlton again had Vanns for company as the Renault Clio took class E honours, following the demise of Pipe. Astin completed the finishers, with Dann and Liptrott also retiring.

So it is now a long break until September 17th for the QMN drivers, with Grant holding a narrow three point lead from Birley. Veteran Skelton is an impressive third, with teenager Ross still fourth.

Next Race Meeting:

See you in 2019

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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