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Round 6 – BDC Silverstone National – 8 August 2009

After a number of weeks of wet and dreary summer weather it was nice to see the sunshine in full effect for the annual Bentley drivers club meeting at Silverstone. This particular meeting marked the 60th consecutive year it has been held at Silverstone, which surely must be one of the longest standing race meetings worldwide.

ZERO EXHAUSTS THOROUGHBRED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Race Report – 8 August 2009 – BDC Silverstone National – Round 6

After a number of weeks of wet and dreary summer weather it was nice to see the sunshine in full effect for the annual Bentley drivers club meeting at Silverstone. This particular meeting marked the 60th consecutive year it has been held at Silverstone, which surely must be one of the longest standing race meetings worldwide. Perhaps due to this anniversary, the pits and paddock seemed much fuller than usual, with lots of spectators and club members on hand for a weekend’s racing.

The Zero Exhausts Thoroughbred Sportscars had a late slot on Saturday with qualifying taking place at 11:25.

Chris AcklamChris Acklam took pole with an absolutely scorching lap at 1:06.85, to top the field over a second clear from Simon Orebi-Gann, who sat next to him on the front row and on Class C pole. On the second row Tony Lees was third and with a return to the series after far too long an absence Simon James in his very quick looking Sunbeam Tiger.

John Emberson and Roger Connel made up row three, with the next four rows on the grid separated by only one second, including Colin Jones in 10th position taking Class B pole, closely followed by the Class B TR4 of Mike Hazlewood. All were glad to see Jerry Knight out and taking Class A pole in an MGB FIA after his big shunt in the D-type last time out.

The Race

Off the start, Simon James made a stormer from the second row and had pulled out a couple of car lengths by the time the field reached Maggots, and thundered down the national straight. This was shaping up to be quite an interesting race – the Morgans behind were going to have to work very hard to get past what was possibly a slightly slower car but which possessed massive grunt in a straight line.

Peter Barnard, Graham Paddick & Simon James

Peter Barnard, Graham Paddick and Simon James

Unfortunately for the spectators (and no doubt Simon James) he went off on the first lap at Brooklands and rejoined much further down the field. He charged through the field in an effort to catch up, but the mistake was to prove too costly.

This gifted another overall and Class D win to Chris Acklam who contended with lapped traffic well and was kept honest for 13 laps by Tony Lees and Simon Orebi-Gann who both pushed hard to the finish in a tight battle of their own. Simon’s 3rd place overall was good for class C honours as well as a podium finish.

Simon Cripps & Dave McDonald

Simon Cripps & Dave McDonald

Another Simon (Cripps) finished second in Class C, with some spectacular tail slides onto the National straight in his Gulf-coloured BGTV8.

Class B was won by Mike Hazlewood who took advantage of polesitter Colin Jones’ poor start and pushed on to come home in 6th position overall Jones worked his way back up through the field but was unable to catch the experienced Hazlewood in the closing stages. Behind them a train of 5 class B & C cars finished separated by just 5 seconds, one of many close midfield battles that exemplify the close intermarque racing offered by this series.

Jerry Knight

Jerry Knight

Brian Playford & Peter Hiscocks

Brian Playford & Peter Hiscocks

Jerry Knight took the Class A win, with Peter Hiscocks second and Brian Playford third, the two of them enjoying a close fought race and a close finish.

Roger Connel – and he was worried about his rear suspension !!

Roger Connel – and he was worried about his rear suspension !!

Retirements numbered four and included a spectacular suspension failure suffered by the TVR of Roger Connell in the very fast Copse corner. Well held by Roger and thankfully did not result in a major off or any collateral damage to the car.

With just 2 rounds left the championship appears to be going Chris Acklam’s way but there are still a number of potential challengers and as has famously been said – to finish first, you must first finish.

Stuart Dickinson

Points position to Round 6 – BDC Silverstone

Class A
Peter Hiscocks 15
Jerry Knight 6
Brian Playford 5
Class B
Mike Hazlewood 41
Colin Jones 24
Roy Chamberlain 22
Class C
Jerry Knight 32
Simon Orebi Gann 29
Simon Cripps 25
Class D
Chris Acklam 47
Tony Lees 32
Philip Goddard 14

Overall
Chris Acklam 47
Mike Hazlewood 41
Jerry Knight 38

For info… For the many drivers in the race who did see the black flags and were very surprised that his name appeared on the results…

After the race Mike Hazlewood having first missed the black and orange and then the black flag for half of the race went to see the Clerk of the Course. He explained that he had not seen the black and orange at all due to his close racing with Simon Cripps and Dave McDonald but saw the black flag on the last lap.

Mike says the problem was a catch on the top of his boot lid unbeknown to him had come adrift on the first lap of the race when he had received a slight nudge from Roy Chamberlain. The Clerk of the Course told Mike that had he missed the flags in practice he would have started from the back of the grid.

The Clerk said he could find no fault with his driving during the race so he imposed penalty points on his licence.

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