BARC South Eastern Centre
Lydden Hill - June 26th and 27th
All three of BARC South Eastern’s racing competitions were showcased at the club’s annual fixture at Lydden Hill on June 26/27. Unfortunately the number of spectators there to witness the live action was affected by competition on the small screen from Andy Murray at Wimbledon, the Valencia Grand Prix and, last but certainly not least, England versus Germany in South Africa.
Rod won both Dunlop/Motorsport News saloon races against admittedly not the strongest opposition, but it wasn’t all plain sailing because the Escort was far from its best, popping and banging to the flag in race one and cutting out halfway round the final lap in race two. Nova driver Graham Richardson was lucky to avoid contact when this happened, and by resetting all the switches Rod got his car fired up again just in time.
Impreza driver Stratton Mackay headed the pursuit in race one but was beaten in race two by the remarkable Bill Richards, whose brand new Mini hadn’t turned a wheel until Sunday qualifying. This was Bill’s first proper workout since his huge Brands Hatch crash in April and he came through with flying colours although he owned up to “hurting a little bit” by the end of the day.
Richard Brent was a double class winner to maintain his points lead and Andy Wickens beat Steve Dann twice in Class B. Andy Woods-Dean kept stopping when fuses blew on his Megane but the real cause, quickly and easily remedied when it was discovered, was a wire chafing through. Even more unlucky was Nigel Craig. The fire extinguisher on his Impreza went off in the assembly area and although it was rapidly replaced it drowned the ECU and the car died on the grid.
There was controversy in the Cannons Motor Spares Tin Tops when series leader Andy Mitchell was squeezed and knocked into a spin at the first corner of race one and went from first place to last. His recovery to fourth was a feature of the race, but would have been easy to overlook amid some tense and exciting jousting for third place downwards.
Tristam Barden was in the middle of the battle in his Intermarque Class D winning Mini, while farther back Ken Angell and Jon Wild enjoyed a fabulous duel which matched Ken’s wallowing Jag against Wild’s cheeky Metro. Dave Charlton removed his Beetle’s exhaust when he reverted to his rallying roots at Paddock but also had gearbox bothers and was already facing a rare class defeat. The top three, Luke Bennett, Russell Turner and Michael Cox, were all class winners.
A wayward moment by Luke Bennett early in race two gave the following Russell Turner a fright and allowed Mitchell to take over the lead. On the same lap Luke badly misjudged a passing move and T-boned Turner at the Elbow. There was more contact a lap later and Turner soon retired, and had to be restrained from making his feelings clearly known. Luke was also out within a few laps but it was a drive shaft joint which caused his demise. His earlier conduct earned penalty points on his licence.
Only eighth in race one, Gary Chappell finished a close runner-up to Mitchell and Cox was third again, with Barden fourth. Nick Boon won T4 in Turner’s absence, but it was a bad day for Berni Baxter, whose core plug – the cause of problems at Brands – blew out in qualifying and again in race one, after which he parked the Fiesta. Angell and Wild re-enacted their race one duel and Paul Oldfield made it two Beetle wins. Charlton was clearly struggling but got points on the board as last classified runner.
Ian Conibear in a Caterham provided the surprise package in Saturday’s Quaife Intermarque League races. The series newcomer looked set for victory in race one until a burst radiator forced him out. He raced clear again in a repaired car and this time gained a deserved success.
Steve Hall inherited the race one win with Chris Brockhurst next and guest driver Stratton Mackay a distant third. The four Silhouette drivers tried to spice up the action by starting race two at the back and in reversed order, but Hall still reached the top of the class to chase Conibear home. Brockhurst was next, although Mackay didn’t let him get away this time.
The Tiger sportscars which often race with the Intermarques had their own events this weekend, and both were dominated by Tom Griffiths.