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Quaife Cannons TinTops Championship
Brands Hatch, 25th-26th June 2016

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

TinTops Like the QMN saloons the Tin Tops had to qualify on Saturday. Unfortunately this session was held in torrential rain as the heavens literally opened on the drivers. Despite the hazardous conditions two drivers slugged it out for pole position setting impressive lap times. In the end Chris Bassett took the top spot in his Peugeot with a time of 63.485 seconds. Rod Birley wrestled the Bevan owned Honda Integra into second spot just 0.351 of a second behind. Lining up third would be wet weather expert Terry Searles in his MG ZR although he was 2.45 seconds adrift. For someone who hates the rain Chris Whiteman did well to take fourth in his Honda Civic. Mikey Day again headed the T3 runners in fifth with his Saxo, with Robert Farndon looking racey in sixth in his VW Golf. Graham Richardson splashed around to seventh quickest time, with David Packham (Suzuki Ignis) taking eighth. Next up was leading T1 runner Bob Hosier in his Seat, as Ben Forbes completed the top ten in his Saxo. Steve Everson was next, just in front of lady racer Kelly Dann in her VW Golf.

TinTops With the races on Sunday being held on a dry track, it was expected that some drivers might gain whereas others would lose out. Missing from the grid was Farndon whose VW Golf had a fuel feed issue. From the rolling start Bassett just held the lead as both Birley and Whiteman pressured the blue Peugeot. Whiteman powered past to lead at the end of lap one, but then dropped off the kerb at Paddock bend on lap three, allowing both Bassett and Birley back through. There then followed a titanic battle between the three protagonists as they were less than a second apart, until lap 12 when Birley had a recurrence of the misfire which has blighted his season so far. Whiteman continued to lead when someone dropped liquid on the track. As Whiteman spun at Clearways, Bassett regained the lead for the third time and motored on to take the win. Whiteman recovered to second, as Hosier powered up to third. Richardson just held off a charging Dan Fisher, as they both passed a slowing Birley. Searles dropped to seventh, as Day slipped back to eighth, but still took T3 honours from an impressive Packham. Everson was a bit subdued in tenth whilst Angell remained unlapped in 11th. Forbes, Bicknell, Barden and Dann completed the finishers following the retirements of Matthews, September and Hargreaves.

Race two started dramatically as Bassett slewed sideways through Paddock bend and almost went straight off at Druids. A split water hose was causing the problem as the Peugeot trickled into the pits. Whiteman therefore assumed the lead with Birley up from sixth right on his tail. Fisher was a strong third as a fast starting Searles was fourth. Whilst the two leaders battled away it all turned sour further back. Exactly what happened is unclear, but suffice to say that Packham hit the inside barrier going into Paddock bend, as the Suzuki slewed back across the track it was collected by Ben Forbes’s Saxo. As the two cars plunged off the track into the gravel trap a fire erupted which was quickly extinguished by the marshals. Immediately the red flags were shown as the race was halted. As Forbes escaped relatively unscathed, Packham went to the medical centre and onwards to Orpington hospital. The remaining drivers sat patiently on the grid.

TinTops Nearly 30 minutes later and after most spectators had left, the race was re-started. As Whiteman had gone into the pit lane he had to sacrifice pole position and start from the rear. Meanwhile Birley led the depleted field away, as Searles surged up into second spot. Along Cooper straight and the white Integra slowed again, which spelt disaster for the Bevan team. At the end of lap one Searles led with Fisher second. Whiteman was already eighth, but there were only a dozen drivers left in. After Birley retired he was followed into the pit lane by Kelly Dann and Adrian Matthews a lap later. On lap two Fisher led, but it was only a matter of time for Whiteman to hit the front. By lap 8 he was there, and a lap later the chequered flag appeared to end proceedings. Richardson claimed third with Searles fourth. Everson usurped Day for T3 honours, as they were separated by T1 winner Angell. Bicknell and Barden completed the finishers, as we also lost Hosier and Hargreaves.

With Michael Quaife presenting the awards, all thoughts were for the well being of David Packham. The best prepared car award went to Dan Fisher whilst Whiteman collected the driver of the day award.

Next Race Meeting:

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

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24th September 2017

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Latest gallery Quaife Cannons TinTops,
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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