Dunlop Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship - Round 6 Brands Hatch. 24th August
Once we managed to squeeze everyone into the restricted paddock space which was available, due to the DTM teams arriving a week before their event. Talk about laying out their beach towels early!!
Any way practice commenced on a damp circuit with drizzle just stopping as the cars went out. Within a few laps it became obvious that the surface was drying out swiftly. Rod pitted for our team to perform a quick tyre change. Superbly executed he re-joined in just over two minutes. Almost exceeding the pit lane speed limit, he quickly lowered his lap times, eventually securing pole position in 51.105 seconds. This was two seconds quicker than Ron Kiddell in his mighty Nissan skyline. Darren Bly lined up in third and it was good to see his re-built car back out again. Fourth was the fastest class B runner, Nick Hayes in his neat Seat with Yorkshireman Guy Blumer fifth. Sixth would be Ray Barrow, much to the pleasure of the Ford RS club, with Andy Thompson seventh. Leading class E runner Gerald Dale posted the eighth quickest time just edging out Gareth Porter who headed class C. Behind Bill Richards in tenth there was a real surprise, namely Andy Pipe leading class D. Richard Brent had stayed on wet weather tyres which meant he was down in 19th.
From the rolling start Rod charged ahead, although Ron held on valiantly until his car decided to switch to two wheel drive. From then on Rod pulled away to a comfortable 13 second win. The man on a mission was Gareth Porter who wriggled his way up to third place overall, although he had a real battle with the two Seats of Nick Hayes and Andy Thompson. Eventually Thompson secured fourth overall but it was mighty close. The next battle involved four cars with Ray Barrow heading them on the road. Unfortunately Ray had sustained a ten second penalty for an over eager start, which sadly dropped him to 14th place. Guy Blumer therefore inherited sixth overall a scant half second in front of Trevor Collar who had Cris Hayes on his bootlid. Guy earnt the Quaife driver of the race award for his efforts.
Into ninth overall came Richard Brent, who managed to keep his Lydden sparring partner Bill Richards at arms length this time. Bill had Paul Dickinson for company, which gave him a nice buffer to Gerald Dale. Although again it was only a second, which covered all three. Next up was Lee McNair, who is starting to get the best out of his Honda Integra. With Barrow slotting into the next position, James Lindridge came home 15th overall just holding off David Usher (Peugeot 205). Andy Pipe slipped back to 17th and second in class B with his now wide arched Ford Escort. Steve Dann seemed to have a better race with his VW Golf, with Eric Falce getting the better of Peter Crewes. Bly had retired when the gear box failed.
With just over half an hour to get ready for the second race, everyone was kept busy re-fettling their cars. Rod discovered a slow puncture in a rear tyre so we quickly changed that whilst he cleaned the screen. The rolling start again went well, with Rod leading the charge into Paddock Bend. However, up at Druids hairpin there was a major coming together. Because it was behind the trees it is difficult to say what happened, but suffice to say both Trevor Collar and Paul Dickinson came together and also involved Andy Thompson. The safety car then took control of the race and everyone lined up in order behind it. During the clear up Thompson rejoined albeit one lap down, whilst both Gareth Porter (low oil pressure) and Dave Clark (over heating) both pulled off.
After the caution period Rod stormed away and set the fastest race lap in 50.929 seconds (84.72mph). Ron held onto second and easily pulled away from Nick Hayes who had Bulmer as a close shadow. Richard Brent did his usual giant killing act and came home fifth overall from a fast closing Ray Barrow. Ray had climbed up from 14th which earnt him the Quaife award as well as the Ford RS award. Cris Hayes had a good run to finish seventh just in front of the battling Minis of Richards and Dale. Steve Dann improved to come home tenth, with class C winner Lee McNair next, only just in front of David Usher and Lindridge. Pipe enjoyed his new found pace to claim the class D runner up spot. Mike Edgell managed to get the better of Peter Crewes in another Mini battle. Lee McNair won the best prepared car award.