Britsports Reports, Brands Hatch – June 17-18
© Michael Chen
races, as ever, entertained the crowds at Brands Hatch last Saturday
and Sunday, (17-18 June) on one of the warmest weekends this year.
45-minute Race one, on Saturday, had seen victory for lone driver
Howard Spooner, in a welcome return to the podium for the Jade marque,
after a red flag brought proceedings to a halt, and the results
declared after just 26 minutes, with 16 laps on the board - Ben
Devlin having gone off heavily at Hawthorns in the Juno SS3. Pit
stop timing, and luck, had been crucial in this truncated race –
Nigel Greensall had relieved Dave Shelton early in the first-time-out
Yamitsu, and was well placed in second when the reds came out, whilst
erstwhile leader Dave Mountain had only just handed the Juno SS3
to Clint Bardwell, who was about to mount a climb-back from seventh
position. Fortune smiled upon Richard and Nicola Bernans, classified
second, and yet to make a stop, in their Radical SR3.
owing to problems for a number of teams on Saturday, only fifteen
of the twenty-one cars entered for Sunday’s sixty minute race
were able to make the grid. Race one winner Howard Spooner had elected
not to do the slightly longer Sunday race, and so didn’t take
his pole position, leaving the front row clear for Shelton and Greensall.
After a good start Shelton was caught and passed by Michael Christopher
in the Rapier, and Judd Copeland running a V6 Juno. Lap six saw
Copeland pass Christopher and pull away for an early lead. However
the most impressive drive was that of Jeff Davies, who had come
from fifteenth on the grid in a Juno SS3 to third by lap four. Lap
10 saw Copeland involved in an incident at Druids whilst passing
a backmarker, leaving him in the gravel trap handing the lead to
Davies: Copeland trailed by four seconds, before retiring to the
pit lane for seven laps, taking him and second driver Robert Oldershaw
out of the running for a race win.
Lap 11 brought
the first of the pit stops from the front runners when Dave Shelton
handed the Yamitsu over to Nigel Greensall, who immediately started
punching in a series of fastest laps. Michael Christopher handed
the Rapier to Ian Flux on lap eighteen, who, like Greensall started
setting consistently quick lap times. After a fantastic drive from
Jeff Davies, he handed the Juno over to Neil Briggs on lap nineteen,
Briggs rejoining in third place, following a smooth pit stop, behind
new leader Chris Bardwell, also in a Juno. However Flux and Greensall,
now fourth and fifth respectively, were catching all the cars ahead
and lap 27 saw Greensall pass Flux for second, both having already
passed Sam Alpass in a Juno.
caught and passed new leader Tony Freeman, in the supercharged Radical
Prosport, for the lead, and Flux followed him through, but was not
able to mount any sort of challenge for the race win against the
seemingly unbeatable package of Nigel Greensall and the stunning
home built Mugen V8 Yamitsu. Dave Mountain passed Neil Briggs for
third, with Adrian Mardlin and Tony Freeman coming home fifth and
commented afterwards: “The car ran really well all weekend,
we had some problems with tyres on Saturday which worried us a little,
but everything ran fine in race two today. It is such a good car.
Bearing in mind it is its first race since it was built in 2000,
to take home a win and a second place is great news. The main thing
is that such a small team has done such a fantastic job putting
together a race car which can out perform other cars which have
been under constant development for years.
know when we are going to run the car again, it was built mainly
for track days but now that we know it is a race winner, we will
see. We know it is quick and we can make it even quicker. The important
thing is that we know where we are losing time and where the car
can be improved.”
by a small team which has clearly paid great attention to detail,
the stunning Yamitsu must surely be run again. A pleasure to watch
on the track and a pleasure to look at, it would be doing motorsport
a great disservice to see it boxed and put away.