Pip Hammond crowned first 750MC champion of the decade in the Classic Stock Hatch championship as an eventful meeting provided close racing
The 750 Motor Club hosted an eleven-race programme at Mallory Park, and after significant delays at the beginning of the day for barrier damage, all races still took place in an astonishing feat from the organisers and officials.
The club runs fifteen championship plus several series and Pip Hammond provisionally became the first champion of the season, driving a Vauxhall Nova GTE in Classic Stock Hatch.
Hammond drove a superb first lap on a damp circuit to gap the pack and held on to a 1.7 second gap to win the opening race, his third victory of the season. Andrew Thorpe’s Citroen AX began as his initial chaser but lost a couple of positions before the end.
Firstly, Stewart Place’s Peugeot 205 bravely dived up the inside into the Esses on lap ten before Ted Cooper (Nova) moved onto the podium starting the final lap into Gerards. Lee Scott (Ford Fiesta XR2i) clawed through the battle pack to finish fifth, while championship contender Jeff Humphries (205) was excluded for being underweight.
Multiple champion Scott stormed through from eighth on the grid to lead race two by lap five. Cooper shortly followed him ahead of Hammond, who took a safe third to claim the title. Cooper finished just a second behind Scott in the chase for the lead. Place was the best of the rest, ahead of Humphries, Thorpe and Jason Wood (Nova).
Tom Smith made the most of Steve Foden outbreaking himself into the Shaw hairpin on the second lap of the opening 5 Club Racing MX5 race to take his first victory in the category. Ben Hancy chased him home through traffic aplenty on a slippery circuit. Foden fought back to third, after falling to seventh. He passed Jason Greatrex and Matthew Short in the closing stages.
Foden leapt to the front in a dry second race to put the earlier wrongs, right. He was always under pressure from Smith but was never passed. Jason Greatrex beat son Callum to third, while Adrian Johnson took fifth ahead of Hancy, following an off on lap five for the reigning champion. Marcus Bailey fought through from the back of the grid to eighth, which would give him pole for the reverse grid race.
By lap three Greatrex Snr had passed Bailey in race three and was soon chased by championship contenders Hancy and Foden – however these three had a coming together at Gerards on lap ten, in an incident where Foden was reprimanded. That allowed Smith to take his second win on the day, firmly putting him into championship contention with one round to go. Bailey and Greatrex Jnr completed the podium, with Johnson and Richard Baxter chasing.
Mallory Park would prove to be a slipstreaming strong circuit for the Ma7da series and in the opener Ben Powney and Jonathan Lisseter traded places multiple times before Powney eventually broke the toe at half distance. Daniel Sibbons pounced on the final lap to pass Lisseter for second, following a spin for David Mason earlier, who was also part of the leading pack. Danny Andrew took fourth, which was another tight battle, Matt Graux completed the top five.
Race two was an even closer affair but once again it was Powney that came out on top, his third victory in as many races. The top four cars took the flag less than a second apart. Mason took P2 and was the only driver to head Powney across the line during the race. Sibbons and David Winter were the other two drivers involved in the lead battle with Sibbons finishing on the podium. Graux took fifth again, ahead of Lisseter.
Despite starting eight for race one, Ryan Polley dominated both Clio 182 races with Scott Edgar and Josh Larkin completing the podium both times. Simon Freeman completed the replication of results with two fourth while Andrew Harding and Oliver Waind bucked the trend, sharing a fifth place each.
Dan Thackeray continued his unbeaten run in the Type R Trophy with two more victories. Tate Tavener and Daniel Chapman completed the podium both times.