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May, 2016:

Brands Hatch 1st May Round 2

We were unsure of the forecast as each day it changed but what a lovely weekend with lots of red BH_1.5.16_4119sunburned faces.  We awoke on Sunday to clouds but the sun soon shone through.   By 11.44  assembling in the Pits it was cloudy and some sunshine for practice.

We had twenty one entered for the Thoroughbred race but on the day twenty on the practice sheet and nineteen who would be on the results sheet.

Qualifying put E class Russell McCarthy on Pole with a 52.677 alongside guest driver James Wheeler with 52.837.  On row two Neil Fowler on a 53.274 next to Rob Spencer with a 53.671.On row three B Class Pole Simon Cripps on 56.352 alongside D Class Pole Martin Barrow with 56.692.   On row four Barry Holmes alongside John Yea and on row five C Class Pole Jeff Hooper with a 59.191 alongside Roy Chamberlain

BH_1.5.16_4149On row six guest driver Peter Samuels out in Son Guy’s MGB alongside Hayleigh Spencer and on row seven Ian Prior out in a borrowed B class car he sold to Simon Cripps while his E class car is being rebuilt next to Rob Roodhouse.

Kathy Sherry on row eight alongside Steve Lockhart and returning Thoroughbred driver Angus Dent back out after a decade or more alongside Phil Lambe and finishing the field Simon Alexander alongside the vacant spot for Richard Lawson.

THE RACE

MGCC – Leanne Fahy  – Overview…

James Wheeler continued his dominant weekend, to claim a third win in as many races during the weekend. The sole outing for the Thoroughbred Sportscars saw Wheeler control the pace from start to finish, despite fierce attention from Russell McCarthy and Rob Spencer.BH_1.5.16_4137

After finishing second to Wheeler in both BCV8 Championship races on Saturday, McCarthy was keen to unnerve him this time. Despite fastest lap and a number of brave attempts around the outside of Druids, McCarthy was unable to nudge Wheeler from his victorious perch.

Spencer had looked strong for a second place finish, but after engaging in battle with McCarthy, he slipped back for a third place finish.

Neil Fowler made amends for a difficult second BCV8 Championship race on Saturday to claim fourth place, ahead of Simon Cripps and Barry Holmes. Cripps also collected the Driver of the Race award.

CLASS E

BH_1.5.16_4158From the lights Guest driver James Wheeler made a great start to lead Rob Spencer, Russell McCarthy and Ian Fowler up round Druids, the four tight together as they came down to Graham Hill Bend. James led the race from lights to flag as he had done in the two BCV8 races on Saturday.   Russell came round in second place for the first three laps then Rob dived through, all three drivers within half a second up front for seven laps before back markers joined in the equasion. James managing to pull past and get a small distance to Rob.  Ian fourth in class and overall but losing touch slightly with the front runners.  Rob hung on to James as best he could then Russell joined him to give some spectacular close racing with Russell managing to pass Rob by lap eleven to storm off after James.  By the flag Russell had managed to get up close and personal to James breaking the lap record in the process but as they crossed the line James had a .7 advantage.  Rob slid back slightly and Ian had him in his sights but was unable to catch him by the flag.  A very intense drive by four top class drivers.

CLASS D

Martin Barrow had a great start and stormed off to lead the class having a great few laps with Simon BH_1.5.16_4124Cripps in Class B.  Behind Barry Holmes gradually hauled him in to hound him constantly managing to pull past as Martin overheated to take the class spoils.  Barry putting up a great fight breaking the lap record in the process.  John Yea and Rob Roodhouse had a few close laps John going round the outside at Paddock hill and managing to pull ahead of Rob to take the flag third in class after a great drive first time out in anger. Rob Roodhouse came home fourth in class and twelfth overall and finishing the class Hayleigh Spencer after a great few laps with Rob thirteenth overall and fifth in class.

CLASS C

BH_1.5.16_4144Roy Chamberlain out in the TR250 brought the class home all the way from lights to flag having a great race for the first few laps with Barry Holmes and then joining the B class Battle.  Behind back a few lengths Kathy Sherry in the Morgan and Jeff Hooper in the TR6 had a great race from lap five through to lap nineteen, Kathy keeping Jeff on the same piece of track until his engine said ‘enough’ leaving Kathy to take a well deserved second in class. Phil Lambe the remaining class finisher bringing the class home

CLASS B

Lights to flag out in his B class car fifth overall and commentators well deserved driver of the BH_1.5.16_4128race. Second and third in class Angus Dent and Peter Samuels gave a great show with Peter hounding Angus every lap Angus just keeping Peter behind to the flag after an exciting spectacle.   Ian Prior, Steve Lockhart and Simon Alexander the remaining class finishers having good races with whoever they were around.

Congratulations to Overall winner James Wheeler

To Barry Holmes for Class D

To Roy Chamberlain for Class C

To Simon Cripps for Class B

 

NEW SEASON, NEW CIRCUIT Rockingham – First round for 2016

IMG_2699-001A first visit to Rockingham since 2003 for the Thoroughbred Championship and back then we were racing on the National Circuit which is 1.70 miles long.  This time we were on the International Super Sportscar Circuit or the ISSC, 1.940 miles long.  When we arrived on Saturday evening it had just started to rain and it then decided to pour down.  Most of the drivers opted to go off to the local House of Beverage and as soon as they left the sun came out and a beautiful sunset drowned the paddock in a warm glow, a nice red sky appeared and I was hopeful of a good sunny raceday.  It was sunny, but there was a biting cold wind but thankfully no rain.

Only fourteen drivers had booked to race on a circuit new to most of them and we had a first qualifying at 9.48am on Sunday morning. Our race was not until 4.25pm.

Qualifying saw all 14 drivers out on track with Rob Spencer having mechanical problems in the qualifying and he also had a carb spit and catch fire in the collection area and an overzealous marshal drowned his car with his fire extinguisher so he would have to start from the back of the grid after a major clean-up of expellant.

Qualifying gave Overall Pole to 2015 Champion E Class Russell McCarthy with a 1.32.010 with Ian Prior alongside and Neil Fowler and B Class Pole Simon Cripps with 1.37.457 on row two.  On row three Jordan Spencer Class D Pole with a 1.40.136 alongside Babak Farsian and on row four Jim Bryans vacant spot and Class C Pole Paul Khouri with a 1.41.275.  Jim having a very bad first time out with Thoroughbreds with an electrical problem that most of the ‘technical’ paddock were unable to sort.

Row five Paul Rayment and Martin Barrow and on the penultimate row Michael Hunter and Phil Lambe and finishing the field Roy Chamberlain and a very rare sight Rob Spencer at the back.  Behind Ian Prior held off Rob Spencer by meters until on lap 13 as they came round Brook for the last time Rob gained advantage and Ian lost control and the car veered into the pit wall.  A sad end to a great battle.

THE RACE

Class E

The track was basking in bright sunshine as the field came out to form up for the green flag lap. From IMG_2701-001the lights a great start from three drivers, with Ian Prior on a mission taking to

the front of the pack.  Rob Spencer from the back of the grid steaming through the field to come round in fourth on lap one, the order Ian Prior, Russell McCarthy, Neil Fowler and Rob Spencer.

As they came round all bunched to start lap two Russell had a Senior tank slapper and the order then changed to Ian, Neil, Rob and Russell.  By lap four Neil was in charge but by lap five he had pulled off at Deans and Russell took the race home to the flag. Behind Ian Prior held off Rob Spencer by meters until on lap 13 as they came round Brook for the last time Rob gained advantage and Ian lost control and the car veered into the pit wall.  A sad end to a great battle.

Class D

Down to three in the class with Jim Bryan not sorting his electrical problems.  From the lights Jordan Spencer took control of the class with Martin Barrow maintaining steady pace.  Paul Rayment pulled off at Deans on lap one with engine failure and Jordan continued home to the flag taking the class and Martin second.

Class C

Four in the class and Paul Khouri got a good start and held the class from lights to flag taking a good class win. Behind the three TR’s of Michael Hunter, Roy Chamberlain and Phil Lambe had a great close race with Roy and Michael swapping places and Phil watching and waiting.  Michael lost power on lap 12 his race finished leaving Roy to take the class win and Phil to follow him home.

Class B

Only two in the class with Simon Cripps out in his B class car while his V8 is being rebuilt.  Simon took IMG_2702-001class control from the lights and maintained it to the flag with Babak keeping him in sight but unable to catch him.

A good race with battles throughout the field.

Congratulations to Russell McCarthy for his overall and Class E win

To Jordan Spencer for his Class D win

To Paul Khouri for his Class C win

And to Simon Cripps for his Class B win