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Rounds 8 & 9 Brands Hatch, Semsec 10th September 2011

Two in one, here we go.  The double header at Brands Hatch was supported by thirty drivers

A meeting at Brands Hatch with SEMSEC (South East Motorsports Enthusiasts Club) was a first time for Thoroughbreds and thirty drivers turned up to support the double header.

It was a strange order of events, we had to sign on by ten and the first practice was at 12noon and our practice was not until 1pm and during the morning the Club held a sprint meeting on the circuit.  The weather was for sun and cloud during the morning with rain coming in later in the afternoon and it seemed to do exactly that and rained at the start of both the races with no indication other than a few dark clouds to indicate any rain until it came out of the sky onto the assembled grid.

We had five D class entered, fourteen C class, seven B class and four A class and all went out to practice for both races with the first and second fastest laps as the grid positions for races 8 and 9 of our Championship.


The fifteen minute practice started at 12.58 and all drivers qualified but a few problems developed that would take 42B Robert Innes Ker in the MGA out with water/head gasket problems. Spencer McCarthy had a valve spring break in his earlier practice in the yellow MGB Roadster in the BCV8 practice and had just an hour to sort it out before his TSCC practice and a last minute entry on the grid to test and check the repairs put him 25th on the grid.  Russell McCarthy had a fast practice to put him second on the grid in the MGA but he pulled in after eight laps to find he had no compression on one cylinder and decided to use the MGB putting him at the back of the grid.

The Overall and D class Pole went for both rounds to Simon Garrad in the D type replica.  Both races with a vacant spot beside him for Russell’s MGA.  Both rounds also on Row two Jon Ellison and John Wilkes, Row three Simon Cripps and Jerry Knight, Row four Rob Spencer and Peter Barnard, Row six Tim Falce and Joe Parrington and to the back of the field only a couple of changes on times but mostly the positions were the same for both rounds.



The grid assembled and just as the drivers pulled onto the track spots of rain fell.  By the time the lights changed rain had started to fall quite heavily, Simon Cripps had a blinding start and got ahead of Simon Garrad for a few lengths but Garrad pulled him back to pull away and lead the race to the flag getting faster as the race progressed and as the rain stopped. Cripps staying within touch with him for the quarter of the race until the track dried enough for Garrad to get the grip and pull away.

Class D

Simon Garrad from Class Pole pulled away finding the grip but having a moment and recovering well at Graham Hill Bend on lap one to pull ahead and win the class and Overall from John Wilkes who had been mixing with the C class car of Rob Spencer and the B class car of Spencer McCarthy for the majority of the race.  Russell McCarthy from the back of the grid at No. 29 came up through the field to be fourteenth by the start of lap two and eighth by the flag, with Robert Roodhouse and Phillip Lambe finishing the D class field.

Class C

Simon Cripps led the class from lights to flag putting on a great display of hard driving with C class battles throughout the field with Rob Spencer, Jon Ellison and Jerry Knight having some close racing.  Rob Spencer coming home second in class with Tim Falce third after a great drive through the field and Jerry Knight fourth. Jon Ellison up front with Rob had a difficult moment at Paddock and slid into the kitty litter, Jon just about had a smile on his face though as the car was still OK.    A little further down the field coming home fifth Barry Holmes and Sharlie Goddard sixth.

Class B

Spencer McCarthy from twenty fifth on the grid after his slow practice took advantage of the wet conditions and by lap seven was up to fifth fighting it out with Rob Spencer and Jon Ellison and John Wilkes and by the flag took class B honours in fifth place overall. Peter Barnard came home second in class and ninth overall after various close racing with Russell McCarthy and Tim Falce.  Ian Prior took third in class and Joe Parrington fourth with John Yea and Colin Jones bring home the B class.

Class A

Class A invited driver Bob Luff in the FIA MGB took a lights to flag win from his Invitation class Pole but the A class honours went to Peter Hiscocks with both Brian Playford and Martyn Clews having a close race throughout with Martyn Clews taking second and Brian  third in class.

Congratulations to Simon Garrad for his lights to flag class D and Overall Win, to

Simon Cripps for his class C lights to flag win, to

Spencer McCarthy for his 25th placed start to 5th place finish for B class Win and to

Peter Hiscocks for his A class win.



The cars pulled onto the grid as the rain came down and this time two warm up laps took place as it had been a dry practice.  The lights changed and again Simon Garrad was the man to beat pulling out a lead straight away.   Simon Cripps also put the power down and he and Jon Ellison came round Paddock and up to Druids side by side.  By lap two Jon Ellison had passed Simon Cripps to lead Class C but Cripps hung on and swapped places by lap eleven but Ellison took it back by lap twelve where he stayed to the flag, Cripps now being challenged by John Wilkes.  Behind, Rob Spencer and Russell McCarthy came home in fifth and sixth place, Russell again starting from the back of the field in the MGB and finishing sixth overall.

Class D

A fantastic display of control by Simon Garrad to take the overall win from lights to flag in initially wet conditions.   John Wilkes had a well deserved second in Class and Russell McCarthy after a fantastic drive through the wet field from back of the grid up to third in class and sixth where he stayed to the flag. Robert Roodhouse came home fifteenth and Phillip Lambe finished the class order.

Class C

Jon Ellison had a great race with Simon Cripps and Rob Spencer all driving hard races.  Jon in the TR6 taking overall second and class win.  A Mid field dice with Jerry Knight and Tim Falce with Barry Holmes and Sharlie Goddard all finishing within four seconds of each other by the flag.  Further back new to the Championship Alistair Bell with Kathy Sherry, Neil Fowler and Ben White having a close race at the back of the field to the flag and the remainder of the C class mixing with the B and A classes.

Class B

Peter Barnard from Class B Pole held the class until lap three when Ian Prior passed him for class lead.  Behind from 25th place Spencer McCarthy was trying to duplicate the previous race but this time Ian was having none of it and despite Spencer catching Ian and hanging on to his every move Ian took class win despite Spencer getting fastest race lap on the last lap in an effort to pass him.  Peter Barnard came home third in class after a fine drive and Joe Parrington came home fourth with John Yea Fifth and Colin Jones finishing the B class field.

Class A

Again Class A invited driver Bob Luff in the FIA MGB took a lights to flag win from his Invitation class Pole but the A class honours again went to Peter Hiscocks with Martyn Clews and Brian Playford second and third.

Congratulations to Simon Garrad for another Overall and class D win in difficult conditions and to Jon Ellison for a hard fought win to take Class C, to Ian Prior in his sixteen year effort to beat Spencer McCarthy, Ian standing on a wheel so he could also be taller than him and finally to Bob Luff on his Invitation drive win and to Peter Hiscocks on his Class A win

All finished with no dnf’s and no incidents other than the odd spin and re-join in the wet conditions.

Pam McCarthy


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