ALERT: slippery when wet… that was the story of a typical summer’s day at Brands Hatch for the 750 Motor Club’s only race day at the Kentish venue.
Ryan Polley made the opening rounds at Snetterton look easy in the Clio 182 Championship but that was not the case at a wet Brands Hatch. He recovered from a poor start in race one to win, after passing Scott Edgar at Graham Hill Bend. Edgar chased him all the way home though. Don De Graff took third. Simon Freeman beat Stephen Richardson, who impressively led the early stages but slipped down to fifth at the end.
Polley led the early stages of race two but was passed by both Edgar and De Graff. After lacking pace in the first half, the 2019 champion found lots of pace towards the end and took second and chased Edgar down. He was unable to pass though and Edgar held on and took his first victory in the category. De Graff came third again with newcomer Christopher Keir taking fourth ahead of Josh Larkin and Tom Hall. Neil Heath was running amongst them but had an off at Paddock Hill Bend.
Dan Thackeray dominated both Type-R Trophy races. Jon Peerless and series newcomer Matt Digby completed the podium in race one, while Tate Taverner held on well in the reverse grid race to finish second ahead of Daniel Chapman, who fought through well in the second half of the race.
The Locost field had to deal with oil and rain which mixed to a horrendously difficult track conditions. Despite an off, Murray Shepherd outclasses the pack to win, beating Craig Land and Andrew Tait. Jonathan Higgens raced well to fourth ahead of Peter Hatfield and returning 2018 champion Mark Burton.
An extraordinary end to race two saw Land take the victory after multiple place changes in about 200 meters! He passed Daniel Garrett, who starred in the trickiest of conditions, who got caught out in backmarker traffic. Tait took third, closely following the top two home. Burton was the quickest driver in the second half and fought up to fourth but received a track limits penalty promoting Geoff Peek and Higgens.
The Classic Stock Hatch races were marred by Safety Car periods thanks to multiple car incidents but that did not stop Stock Hatch champion Jeff Humphries taking his Peugeot 205 to a double victory on his series debut. He kept error free to move into the lead in the opener while an amazing first corner assisted him to win race two.
Pip Hammond’s Nova took a couple of second places. Stewart Place (205) took pole and managed a third and a fourth, while Snetterton winner Ryan Morgan took the same positions in the opposite order in his Fiesta XR2. Andy Philpotts (XR2i) and Ted Cooper (Nova) were top six finishers, while multiple champion Lee Scott (XR2i) converted a terrible Qualifying into a sixth and seventh.
A fantastic drive in wet conditions from M2 racer Graham Crowhurst wins the opening round of the BMW Car Club Racing Championship with his E46 M3. Despite a spin at Clearways he beat the similar car of Paul Cook by four seconds in a shortened race, thanks to an early red flag when the slowing Wayne Lewis was clobbered by Karl McMillan. Multiple BMW champion Garrie Whittaker (E36 M3) took the M1 victory after passing Lee Piercey (E36 M3) – both making their series debut.
Whitaker had a more straightforward race two in the dry to take the overall victory. He beat Cook (M2 winner) by 3.5 seconds after a one-lap sprint to the flag after Kevin Denwood’s Compact ended on its side at Paddock Hill Bend. Mike Eustace beat Brad Sheehan, who came from the back of the grid, and Kaz Singh to third. All running E46 M3’s.
Jim Benson took a couple of 6-cylinder class victories with his 330. He beat Denwood in race one, while Paul Travers (Compact) finished second in race two. Clive Watson won twice in the Cup class.
James Harridge was the class of the field in Formula Vee and dominated both races in his Maverick, to make it four wins this season. Danny Hands (AHS Dominator) finished second in the wet opener ahead of an impressive Jamie Harrison (Sheane), who took a maiden podium after Andrew Cooper (GAC) fell into the gravel on the final corner of the race. Peter Belsey (Spyder) and Ivan Turner (Leastone) completed the top five, in a race which saw a multiple car incident at Surtees.
Race two was struck with incidents despite taking place in the dry – firstly a red flag when Alex Jones ploughed into the back of a slowing Steve Ough. Ian Buxton ended up finishing second after a ballsy move at Paddock early on. He beat Belsey and Peter Studer (TCR Challenger) and a slow starting Hand.