Dunlop Motorsport New Saloon Car Championship Races - Brands Hatch - May 31st 2009
A very warm and sunny day greeted the 28 competitors for the latest rounds of the Dunlop Motorsport News championship. Qualifying saw Rod take pole position with Malcolm Wise lining up alongside. Row two should have contained the two Nissans of Bly and Biggers but neither car appeared due to technical problems. This meant that returnee Rick May occupied the next position with Bill Richards alongside. Cris Hayes, Richard Brent, Andy Thompson and Steve Dann completed the top ten.
From the rolling start the two Escort WRCs ran side by side all the way to Druids where Malcolm locked up and almost went off. Further back the “best prepared car” of Chris Adams unfortunately did end up stuck in the gravel bed. Meanwhile Rod made his escape and established a two second cushion which remained to the chequered flag. Wise chased hard but settled for another good points haul. May ran well in third and managed to shake off the attention of Richards who soon had his old sparring partner Brent harassing him. Peter Taylor moved up well from 13th to latch onto this group and claim sixth. Hayes ended up where he started in seventh, whilst Ray Barrow squabbled with Dann for the next position. James Lindridge slotted into tenth once he got past Thompson who soon had Andy Woods-Dean for company. Sadly the sole runner in class E, Steve King, retired with a mechanical problem. Bill Richards was universally voted driver of the race for his usual giant killing antics.
The second race had an aborted start at the first time of asking. Martin Johnston’s yellow Seat ground to a halt along Cooper Straight and the red flags appeared just after the cars went over the start line. With two minutes lopped off the race time there was a degree of urgency as the pack roared up towards Druids. Again Rod just edged out Malcolm who decided to shadow our car more closely. On lap two, however, Wise came around Graham Hill Bend in the wrong gear and instantly Rick dived past. Surprisingly the green Sierra was showing very good pace and at the end of lap five May took the lead along Brabham straight. Rod hung on around the outside of Paddock but slotted in behind exiting Druids. Along Cooper straight the three Cosworth powered cars looked awesome, but then Rick went into Clearways just a fraction too deep and Rod regained the lead. It stayed very close over the remaining laps but our winning margin was 1.8 seconds when the chequered flag appeared. Behind May and Wise came a fairly lonely Brent after Richards slowed dramatically and was tapped by a Seat. Barrow and Taylor fought hard over fifth place with the Cosworth powered Mk.1 Escort taking the position. Ray also won the Ford RS owners club prize, a new trolley jack.
Woody claimed a creditable seventh overall and second in class B. His consistency sees him leading the points in this class. Hayes chased him hard but finished half a second down in eighth. Lindridge and Thompson were equally close in ninth and tenth. Class D had a new winner in the shape of the Mk.1 Ford Escort driven by Nick Proudlock, whilst King was unable to fix his Mini so class E remained vacant. Rick May was a popular Quaife driver of the race award winner, and the VAG prizes went to Cris Hayes and Paul Dickinson.