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BRANDS HATCH – The 40th Celebration Race 3rd May 2015

Round 2

MGCC BRANDS HATCH  3rd May 2015

Our first outing with MGCC for 2015 took us to Brands Hatch to compete in the two day event.  The race was on Sunday 3RD  May and we had an entry of twenty one drivers but on the day two drivers had pulled out leaving nineteen on the grid for the practice.

Saturday had been dry with intermittent sunshine and a strong wind.  Sunday morning however was wet and drizzly so there was a mad scramble to change tyres for the practice which was due to start at 10.25

We had two drivers entered for Class A with Ivan Hayward out in his FIA car although having a rear axle problem which would make it impossible to race.

Peter Barnard, out in his standard MGB Roadster while his Elva is still being repaired, the only Class A competitor making the race.

Class B only consisted of MGA’s.  IMG_1686Six had managed to enter with Russell bringing the yellow peril of his late dad after fitting a new seat, belts and fire extinguisher as it hadn’t raced since 2011.  Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a good day for him as fuel/gunge was clogging the pipework and causing fuel issues.

Mark Ellis had joined us in his Twin Cam to support the MGA’s as he had previously raced in the Championship.  Mark still races his Twin Cam successfully in the Iconic 50’s and other Series.

Spencer McCarthy was out in Bob Innes Kerr’s Red MGA.  This car won the Standard Class in 1976 and Bob still competes as often as he can. Bob has looked after the car for forty years and he recently had a new engine so there was no problem there but when Spencer went to put the headlights on in the wet practice the engine cut out, so there was a bit of a wiring issue which although they tried could not be sorted by the race.

Bob Lines was out in his MGA Twin Cam which he has raced regularly since 1976 winning the Overall Championship in 1987 and Colin Jones had arrived with his Twin Cam but only managed three laps in practice  as  he  needed  to do some work before the race. Colin won the overall Thoroughbred Championship in 2002.

Neil Cawthorn out in his MGA has also been a previous Overall winner in 1985, 1989 and 1999 and managed the practice and race but had a clutch thrust bearing failing.

Bob Innes Ker, Colin Jones, Neil Cawthorn and Bob Lines have all raced in the championship since its beginning and all the cars looked pristine and 2015 is also the 60th anniversary of the MGA.

In Class C we had returning Roy Chamberlain in his TR5, regular Phil Lambe in his TR6, Kathy Sherry in her Morgan + 8 and newcomer to the Championship Alan House in his Morgan Roadster.

In the D class there were three contenders, Ken Deamer in his MGBGTV8, Martin Barrow in his E Type and a new car to the Series driven by regular MGA driver Peter Hiscocks driving his Mustang, a lovely mixture of cars.

Top class E now called Full Race cars which did seem appropriate as although they are not exactly what you would expect from a full race car as they do look quite standard they really showed how the new breed of V8’s can perform.

Rob Spencer took pole alongside Neil Fowler with Ian Prior and Simon Cripps on row two. Russell McCarthy alongside Ken Deamer on row three and Bob Lines and Martin Barrow on row four.

Mark Ellis and Roy Chamberlain on row five with Neil Cawthorn and Phil Lambe on row six.  Peter Barnard on row seven and Colin Jones and Kathy Sherry on row eight and finishing the field Alan House and Peter Hiscocks.

THE RACE

From the lights Rob Spencer took immediate lead with Ian Prior, Neil Fowler, Simon Cripps, then Ken Deamer, Martin Barrow, Russell McCarthy all storming up into Druids.  Down into Graham  Hill Bend Russell pulled off and parked up with a lack of fuel.

As they crossed the line Neil Fowler had taken the lead with Ian Prior, BH14_8992Rob Spencer and Simon Cripps on his tail.  Next up leading class D Ken Deamer and behind Roy Chamberlain leading Class C then Martin Barrow and Class B leader Mark Ellis next Phil Lambe, Neil Cawthorn, Bob Lines, Colin Jones and Kathy Sherry with the Mustang of Peter Hiscocks behind and Peter Barnard the remaining Class A driver just in front of Alan House.

Class E

By lap two Neil had pulled away slightly but Rob Spencer had taken the challenge and was hard on his tail, Ian Prior and Simon a few lengths behind.

Simon snuck past Ian on lap three giving the order for very close racing for the next six laps until Rob dived past Neil on lap ten to take the lead bringing Neil, Ian and Simon home to the flag, only 3.5 seconds dividing them as Rob crossed the line.

Ian Prior had put up a good show of persistent driving and he was awarded the Commentators Driver of the Race.

Class D, C and B

Class D leader Ken Deamer took immediate control of the class and remained from lights to flag.

BH14_9024Behind D class Martin Barrow in the E Type was having a fantastic race with C class Roy Chamberlain in his TR5 and B class Mark Ellis for the entire race, Roy leading until Martin did a brave move on lap seventeen round the outside at Paddock to lead the pack but overcooking it at Clearways to lose out again to both Roy and Mark Ellis, Mark keeping up with the pack for the entire race, giving a great show for the MGA Twin cam.

Behind this group for the first few laps most of the drivers were strung out but by half way through the race another battle had developed with Neil Cawthorn, Phil Lambe and Colin Jones.

Colin was tailing the bunch but by lap nine had passed Phil and was on a charge to BH14_9073Neil, all three having a great dice until Colin after hounding Neil for five laps pulled past Neil on lap eighteen to come home second in Class B.

Kathy Sherry in her Morgan + 8  and Peter Hiscocks in the Mustang also had a race long battle, never far from each other for the entire race, Kathy leading home the Mustang at the flag.

Similarly Alan House in the Morgan Roadster and Peter Barnard in the MGB had a race long battle. The remaining MGA of Bob Lines pulled off on lap seven with problems.

A great race, with battles down the field headed by the magnificent top class show of full race power.

Congratulations to overall race winner and Class E Rob Spencer

To Class D Ken Deamer

To Class C Roy Chamberlain

To Class B Mark Ellis

And to the A class finisher Peter Barnard

Pam McCarthy – Championship Coordinator

 

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