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Race Report - Brands Hatch 26th May 2014

By Shawn Herrington

QMN For the third time this year the QMN saloons and Cannons Tin Tops returned to Brands Hatch for their usual three race format. This time it was part of the Masters historic festival and the QMN cars had the luxury of the pit garages.

Although several class A runners were missing, it was pleasing to welcome back Alex Sidwell with his mighty Holden Commodore V8. Also returning was Tom Knight who has now moved up to class B with his BMW. Alex lined up third on the grid behind Birley and Butler, whilst Knight was fourth from Lennie Coad and Junior Fiesta champion James Ross in his class E leading Ford Fiesta.

QMN From the rolling start Birley shot into the lead with Sidwell following through in second. Butler soon had Knight snapping at his heels, and they battled for the entire race for the final podium position. On lap 16 the blue BMW slipped past, and then the similar car of Jamie Liptrott pressurised the white Focus but Butler held on to take fourth. Tony Paxman came through to take sixth with Mike Chittenden hustling his BMW up to seventh and second in class C. The first lapped runner was Dave Charlton who had Nick Proudlock closing in on the final few laps. Graham Richardson took class E honours with his Vauxhall Nova, as James Ross fell back to third in this class behind Peter Winstone.

In the concurrent Tin Top classes Vic Hope was first home after the demise of Barnaby Davies with turbo problems. Terry Searles was second in T3 with Chris Bassett third, as Russell Turner retired along with Robert Farndon and Oliver Davies (who is Barny’s brother).

TinTops Later on the Tin Tops had a race on their own, and we had the unusual sight of Neal Gardiner’s deminutive MG Metro on pole position. With the track now 100% dry, it didn’t take long before the more powerful cars ushered their way through. Barny Davies hit the front, only for his turbo issues to return. Terry Searles then briefly had the lead until Vic Hope drove around the outside of him at Druids. Tom Bridger further demoted the MG driver and looked for a way past the Honda Civic. Much to his team’s delight Vic held on, despite the pressure from Tom. Searles was secure in third, although the battling Bassett and Turner did start to close in. Peter Osborne took TP honours as Oli Davies claimed T2. Gardiner came home eighth with another class win ahead of Lewis Turner and Robert Taylor.

QMN By the time the second QMN race took to the track it was soaking wet, as persistent rain had set in. Birley scampered off in his four wheel drive Escort as Sidwell had Butler filling his mirrors. The front wheel drive Focus seemed to perform better in the wet conditions, as the rear wheel drive BMWs struggled for traction. Knight kept his fourth position albeit 33 seconds adrift of Butler, but Liptrott fell back to 13th. Paxman came through the gloom into fifth, whilst the sensational James Ross made it all the way up to sixth overall. He easily took class E honours and was also awarded the driver of the day award. Glen Rossiter had a good race with Steve Dann as they completed the unlapped drivers. Into ninth came Coad from spinner Dave Charlton and Perry Winch (who claimed the best prepared car award).

In the Tin tops section Neal Gardiner again revelled in the inclement conditions, as he finished way ahead of his rivals. Osborne was the TP winner, whilst Bridger had difficulty seeing through a badly misted windscreen on his way to T1 honours. Gardiner was easily voted the Mark Fish driver of the day for the Cannons Tin Tops, as Kieron Lehane took the best prepared car award.

The event was broadcast live on “Downforce Radio”, and the links appear below:

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See you in 2019

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