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Round 1 – MGCC Brands – 11 April 2010

MOTORING CLASSICS THOROUGHBRED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Race Report – Sunday 11 April 2010 – MGCC Brands Hatch

First meeting of the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Season at Brands Hatch saw lots of familiar faces and a few new ones. The weather was very kind to us and the circuit was bathed in warm sunshine for the whole weekend.

Twenty drivers had gathered for this first round, numbers a little lower than usual but our normal gathering of Morgans were depleted to three dedicated ‘they go anywhere dot com’ Morgans who had travelled down from Snetterton where they had competed in the Morgan Challenge first round the previous day.

John Wilkes had finally made it in his Jaguar D Type replica after registering but not racing in 2009 and new member to the Championship in 2010 Richard Abels joined us with his Jaguar E type replica. Steve Watton was back with us again out now in his Lotus Elan S3, and in his MGB also registered to race the 2010 Thoroughbred Sponsor John Yea.

The majority of the days races consisted of MGCC Championships holding double headers but the Thoroughbreds had gone for a longer race of 30 minutes. The practice started at 11.30 and all drivers completed their practice with apparently no problems.

The Motoring Classics Thoroughbred race was number twenty on the weekend programme but 10th on the Sunday and was due to commence at 15.25. However, things didn’t go quite as expected.

A series of red flags and accidents put the timetable very out of shape, nobody sure what this was put down to whether driver error or new track surface. Another incident which involved an air ambulance also caused a delay. The racing continued with all the fifteen minute races reduced to ten minutes and our 30 minute race reduced to 15 minutes.

The 20 drivers were spread into three classes as there were no entries in class A. There were six B class cars, seven C class cars and seven D class cars all up and raring to go for the race.

THE GRID

Pole position went to Roy McCarthy returning in his MGBGT V8 to his home circuit after an 18 month break with a 55.098 sitting next to 2009 Champion Chris Acklam in his Morgan + 8 with 55.346. Row two C class Pole Josh Files in his TR6 with a 55.528 alongside Andy Green with his Morgan + 8 on a 55.668 and on row three Jerry Knight in his Jag R D Type upgrading himself to class D with a 55.745 alongside John Wilkes in his similar D class car on a 55.797.

Row four saw B class Pole Russell McCarthy in his MGB Roadster returning from his two year stint with his Ginetta G20 to a more familiar ‘family’ group alongside Jon Ellison in his TR6 with a 56.062 and a 56.560 respectively and behind on row five Tony Lees who admitted to a bad practice on a 57.011 alongside Colin Jones in his MGA Twin Cam on a 57.153. Row six another familiar face but with a new car Steve Watton in his Lotus Elan S3 out for the first time with a 57.530 alongside Tim Falce in his Jag Ram D type on a 57.533 and on row seven Rob Spencer with a 57.609 next to newcomer Richard Abels with a 57.834.

Row eight Joe Parrington and Rob Roodhouse with a 58.080 and 58.365 respectively and on row nine Graham Paddick with a 58.424 alongside John Yea with 59.288 and finishing the field of beautifully prepared cars Bob Lines with a 59.940 and Jeff Hooper with a 1.01.051.

THE RACE

The red lights dimmed and Chris Acklam had a blinding start with Andy Green following him through Paddock with Roy McCarthy slotting into third place, up round druids Roy had a wobble and Jerry Knight, John Wilkes and Tony Lees went through. Next, heading Class C Jon Ellison with Class B leader Russell McCarthy hard on his tail.

Class D

Crossing the line for lap two it was still the Morgans of Chris and Andy with Jerry in his D Type in third but being hard pressed by the Morgan of Tony Lees and just a little behind John Wilkes in his D type and a recovering Roy in his MGBGT V8. The last D class entrant Rob Roodhouse down the field with problems pulling off on lap three. By lap five Tony Lees had come through to second chasing hard after Chris with Andy slipping back a couple of seconds but he now had Roy on his tail, Roy having pulled past both Jerry and John.

Lap six Chris and Tony still in front but Roy on a charge setting fastest lap to pull past both Jerry and John and Andy now at the back of the pack.

The class order stayed the same to lap ten when Andy pulled back past John Wilkes who had an excursion into the kitty litter and was now slipping down the field being passed by Jon Ellison, Josh Files and Tim Falce in Class C.

Chris Acklam took the win by .166 of a second from Tony Lees and Roy McCarthy came home in third despite a momentary pass on Tony and another tank slapper, much to the delight of the commentators and the gasps of the crowd. Jerry Knight came home fourth despite some fantastic hard driving followed by Andy Green and John Wilkes a little further down the field.

Class C

Jon Ellison in his TR6 got a good start and came round Paddock to lead the class and crossing the line for lap two it was still Jon with Tim Falce in the yellow Jag D Type being challenged and passed by Josh Files in his TR6 and Rob Spencer in his MGBGTV8 just behind. A little further back the E Type of newcomer Richard Abels and Graham Paddick in his Kougar and finishing the class field Jeff Hooper in his TR6.

Jon Ellison and Josh Files had a fantastic battle for the first five laps with Class B Russell McCarthy, Josh managing to pass Russell on lap five to hassle Jon, Tim Falce also getting past Russell to tag onto the back of the battle. Now the three C class cars fighting hard, Jon holding off Josh until lap fourteen when Josh dived past to take class lead and Tim dropping down the field after an out of shaper at Druids.

Further back Rob Spencer was having a good race dicing with B class drivers Jones and Watton and still further back Richard Abels and Graham Paddick were racing hard for the first nine laps until Richard started to ease out a gap. Jeff Hooper finished off the class field

Josh Files took a well deserved win gaining some three seconds on Jon by the flag. Rob Spencer third in class and Tim Falce coming home fourth and getting fastest lap and a new lap record for his efforts. Richard Abels, Graham Paddick and Jeff Hooper completed the class order.

Class B

Russell McCarthy for the majority of the race was up with the class C battle of Ellison, Files and Falce, and led the B class from lights to flag.

Further down the field Steve Watton out for the first time in his Lotus Elan was next up and kept Colin Jones at bay until second to last lap when he pulled off with oil problems, not as serious as first thought though. Colin continued for a further lap taking second in class at the flag. Joe Parrington came home third in class after a lonely class race and Bob Lines in his MGA came home fourth after a race long close battle with fifth in class John Yea in his MGB.

An exciting race right through the field, well driven by all with no red flags. Shame about the 15 minute drop in time but it was unavoidable under the circumstances.

Congratulations to Overall and Class D Winner Chris Acklam, Class C Winner Josh Files and Class B Winner Russell McCarthy.

Results:

Class D Class C Class B
Chris Acklam 55.144 Josh Files 55.779 Russell McCarthy 56.295
Tony Lees 55.142 Jon Ellison 56.43 Colin Jones 57.41
Roy McCarthy 54.569 Rob Spencer 57.057 Joe Parrington 58.088
Jerry Knight 55.432 Tim Falce 55.628 LR/FL Bob Lines 59.581
Andy Green 56.075 Richard Abels 57.543 John Yea 59.309
John Wilkes 55.588 Graham Paddick 48.143 Steve Watton DNF
Rob Roodhouse DNF Jeff Hooper 1.02.817

Pam McCarthy

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