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Brands Hatch 5th & 6th May 2012, Double Header

Rounds 2 and 3 of the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Championship were at Brands Hatch on a cold and wet first weekend in May.  Again it was with the M.G. Car Club.  Entries were slow to come in but we had twenty entered on the programme with one pulling out before the Saturday Round 2 race, but there were only thirteen entered for the Sunday Round 3 race due to a few drivers only wishing to stay for one day.

The weather forecast was for cold and rainy conditions and it was not wrong.  It rained on and off from Friday evening through to Sunday evening causing confusion with wet or dry tyres as the rain was heavy one minute and drizzly the next but the track was definitely very slippery and greasy.  This did cause quite a few problems with stoppages and on Saturday the decision was to cancel the last race on the programme and put it over to the first race on Sunday putting the timetable awry.


Our 15 minute qualifying for both races started at 10.50 on Saturday through to 11.06 and all 19 cars finished successfully despite the track being quite damp in places.  The first and second fastest times would be used to give the order of Rounds 2 and 3, there were a few spins but nothing too bad.  Colin Jones had some new tyres on and decided that they were not the best choice and managed to get the slowest time starting from the back of the grid. For Round 2 we had a selection of our regular Morgan Challenge drivers who had their Championship round on the Saturday but all decided not to stay for the Sunday, probably sensible with the wet conditions.

We had no A class drivers arrive but had five Class D cars, eight C Class cars and six B class cars.  The wet conditions put grid positioning for a few cars, who were a reasonably standard spec, in quite high positions.


Race Overall Pole went to Russell McCarthy finding the wet conditions to his liking still with a few problems one unable to get above 5500 rpm something he would sort out by Sunday.    Sitting alongside him Simon Cripps out in an unfamiliar new acquisition to his racing stable with a beautifully prepared yellow V8.  Row two Ian Prior in his V8 alongside C class Pole Rob Spencer.  These four all getting their best two times in the same positions.

Row three the Morgan of Tony Lees alongside the MGC of Neil Fowler with Jonathan Edwards Morgan and Jon Ellison’s TR6 on Row Four.   On row five Tim Falce in the D Type Jag alongside Barry Holmes V8.  Sharlie Goddard’s Morgan on Row six next to Peter Barnard’s Elva Courier.

On Row Seven Ulrich Vierhaus alongside Graham Paddick with John Yea and Mark Scott on row Eight.  The penultimate row Ben White and Bob Lines and finishing the field Colin Jones.

RACE 1     Round 2

Poleman Russell McCarthy got a terrible start finding his clutch slipping as Simon Cripps, Ian Prior, Tony Lees and then Rob Spencer powered past him.  Neil Fowler, drifting off circuit at the top of druids after forgetting to turn on his fuel pump.  By lap three Ian Prior had overhauled Simon Cripps to lead the field with Rob Spencer second and Russell creeping back up to third.  Tony Lees pulled off on lap five with problems.  Simon Cripps slowly went backward down the field as the track dried a bit and his tyres went off. Meanwhile Jon Ellison from his eighth position came up the field finding grip and power and steadily catching the front runners gaining fastest overall lap in the process.  By lap seven Jon was fourth overall but still three seconds behind third placed Russell but by lap ten he was on Russell’s tail and took to the inside at Paddock Hill bend, drifting wide and sliding just nudging Russell into the kitty litter.  As the McCarthy car was parked in a vulnerable position and with only two minutes to go the Red Flag came out and the race was finished.

During the preceding laps down the field there were a few close dices taking place, one with Colin Jones and Bob Lines and another with Peter Barnard and Graham Paddick.  Barry Holmes race finished early on lap six.

The final result went back a lap and gave the win to Ian Prior who had led until Rob Spencer had passed him on lap 12 to take the lead but the results reverted back to the forced stop so Rob had to relinquish this

Driver of the Race was awarded to Ian Prior and subsequently Ian was awarded Driver of the Day by the MGCC.

Congratulations go to the Overall Winner (after a confusing finale) Class D Ian Prior with Simon Cripps fourth overall and second in Class D.

Class C Rob Spencer taking second overall  and

Third overall to Class C Jon Ellison.

Class B saw the class win to go Peter Barnard with second in class to Colin Jones.


RACE 2      Round 3

Poleman Russell McCarthy again went backwards at the start in the much diminished grid down to thirteen without the four Morgans of Tony Lees, Jonathan Edwards, Sharlie Goddard and Ulrich Vierhaus and the D Type of Tim Falce and the MGA of Bob Lines.

The field settled into some sort of order when Ian Prior stormed off to take the lead with Simon Cripps behind, Russell McCarthy third and Rob Spencer fourth.  The order for two laps until Simon Cripps on the wet track and on the approach to Druids lost control and ploughed into the barrier on the inside, bouncing back out half on the track.  The medics soon attended and the Safety Car took control for a couple of laps when it was decided to reform and take a new Start.

Round 3

Part Two

Again the grid formed up in the order of its finish.  Ian Prior stormed off from the lights with Russell McCarthy in second place and Barry Holmes up into third.  The rain had come down quite heavily again and the track was both wet and greasy.

On the first lap we lost Ben White on Cooper Straight and lost Graham Paddick to heavy damage on the exit of Druids both in places that were felt to be reasonably safe.

The race continued with Ian in control and Russell second when on lap two another casualty Rob Spencer in fourth slid into the kitty litter at the top of Druids

The few laps that remained saw the MGC of Neil Fowler get the power down and come up to hassle and pass Barry Holmes by half a second by the flag.

A close battle with Colin Jones and Jon Ellison which carried on  for the majority of the race, with Colin just piping Jon at the flag.    John Yea, Mark Scott and Peter Barnard the final group of the nine remaining racers.

The Order of finishers,

  1. Overall Ian Prior,
  2.  Russell McCarthy,
  3.  Neil Fowler,
  4.  Barry Holmes,
  5.  Colin Jones,
  6.  Jon Ellison,
  7.  Peter Barnard,
  8.  John Yea
  9.  Mark Scott.

Driver of the Race was awarded to Neil Fowler in the MGC



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