Brands Hatch GP circuit 9 May 2021 – report

Meeting report by Adam Grant and photos by Grant Woolway, both of whom we thank.

From the tight confines of Lydden Hill the BMR super saloons and the CMMCS tin tops went to the fast open sweeps of the Brands Hatch GP circuit. Two other series joined the eclectic grid, namely the Volkswagens and a mixture of classic saloons and sports cars.

Qualifying took place on Saturday 8 May with rain steadily falling, making track conditions very slippery. Several drivers had spins or off track excursions, but Rod Birley used his four wheel drive Escort WRC to good effect. He claimed pole position by over 6.5 seconds from seasoned VW campaigner Ken Lark (VW Corrado). These were the only two drivers to get below the two minute barrier. Next up was the VW Golf MK.2 of Tony Absolom, followed by Paul Watson (BMW) who always goes well in the wet. Andy Woods-Dean (Honda Civic) popped up in fifth, with Ronan Bradley (BMW) alongside. Row 4 saw the Sierra Cosworth of Sean Fairweather line up with Alex Sidwell’s mighty Holden Commodore alongside. Another VW Golf driven by Brian Roberts was ninth with Martyn Scott (BMW) completing the top ten. Leading tin top runner was Dave Hutchins (Honda Civic) in 12th, with the best of the classics being Alan Hersey (Reliant Scimitar) in 20th. A couple of drivers had to qualify the next day, namely Nick Proudlock and Graham Richardson.

Race 1. Sunday 9 May dawned bright and sunny, which probably explained why two laps behind the safety went ahead before the field was unleashed. Birley galloped off into the lead and disappeared, as the other fast cars were making their way towards the front. Sidwell had a time consuming spin exiting Druids on lap 4, which stymied his progress. Watson now appeared in second, with Ronan Bradley and Nick Sutton (Mitsubishi) hard on his heels. Watson was demoted by Sutton on lap 7, and then Bradley squeezed past. By now Birley was 28 seconds up the road, but he took a leisurely last lap, which meant the gap shrunk to 19 seconds at the chequered flag. Sutton got the measure of Bradley as Sidwell clawed his way back to fourth, just getting ahead of Watson. Fairweather came home sixth (winning class D) with the first of the VWs next up, namely Absolom. Woods-Dean was a competitive 8th, followed by more VWs driven by Chris Adams and Brian Roberts. Indeed Roberts only just held off the leading Tin Top driver Jonathan Bevan (Honda Integra), who jumped Hutchins at the start and then put Scott between them. Hutchins was 13th (winning T2) from front row starter Lark. Having started near the back Mark Cripps (BMW E30) came through well to take 15th, as Dave Charlton (Seat) pipped Ken Angel (BMW). Martin Reynolds (Ford Anglia) was the first classic car home in 18th. There were plenty of battles throughout the field including the classic Mustang of Stuart Caie against the Mk1 Escort of Colin Claxton, plus the TP Fiestas of Ian Seale and Richard Sanders.

Race 2 saw Sidwell blast into second place, determined to give Birley a close run. For the first four laps the two protagonists were just a couple of seconds apart, as they set a fast pace. Then gradually Birley edged the gap out to 4 seconds and made some decisive moves amongst the lapped traffic. Sutton settled into third, albeit a fair way behind, but kept ahead of Watson until the BMW retired on lap six. This promoted Ronan Bradley into fourth, which also meant he won class B. Absolom drove well to take fifth and win the VW group, from a much faster Ken Lark. Woods-Dean took class D honours, happy to get his Honda reliable again. Woody was the meat in a VW sandwich as Tomlinson took 8th in his Golf. Scott got the better of Bevan this time, also winning class C, whilst Bevan was the top tin top. Angell went better in his BMW to get within 5 seconds of the flying Integra and beating the T2 class winning Hutchins. Reynolds won the classic class again, as Charlton and Jeremy Sutton were the last unlapped runners, a total of 27 cars made it to the chequered flag,  with Seale winning class TP.

Nick Sutton was awarded the driver of the day award, which pleased the newcomer and his team a lot. It was a good days racing for the mixed grid, which saw plenty of battles throughout the field.

You can read the full results and times at

Next stop is Mallory Park on June 13th, although the intermarque will be at Brands Hatch on June 5-6 for their rescheduled event from early April.

One thought on “Brands Hatch GP circuit 9 May 2021 – report

  1. Shame the rolling starts were a farce, pack spread out all over the circuit, why did the race control go for the start with no proper grid. Half the grid didn’t know there was 2 green flag laps, and why 2 laps? No rain or weather problems.
    The back of the grid was still on the GP circuit when Rod went over the start line we had no chance of catching up with anyone.

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