Brands Hatch Supers/Tin Tops Report

After two “away” meetings it was a return to Brands Hatch for the first time this season for the Super Saloons and the Tin Tops. A bumper entry meant that at one stage there were three reserves. Unfortunately Jacques Whitehead withdrew due to illness, we wish him a speedy recovery.

Race day saw several newcomers in amongst the tin top entry plus a welcome return for some previous regular campaigners, most notably Dominic Ryan and Peter Osborne. Qualifying was extended to 20 minutes, so as to try and alleviate traffic congestion. In the end it was the Bradleys (Adrian and Ronan) who shut out the front row in their class B BMWs. Class A runners Alex Sidwell (Holden Commodore) and Nick Sutton (Mitsubishi Evo) occupied row two, followed by Peter Seldon (class D BMW) and provisionally Sean Fairweather (class D Sierra). Sadly Sean had a cam belt issue so took no further part. This promoted Mark Cripps, out for the first time in his BMW E46, then came the leading tin top runner Matt Rowling in his T2 Honda Civic with Peter Osborne alongside in his class D Vauxhall Astra. Martin Reynolds (class C Mk.2 Ford Escort) had Martyn Scott (BMW E46) for company on row 5, then came Rod Birley (having an outing in Stuart Day’s Escort WRC whilst his own car is being fixed). Rod was joined by the second quickest tin top, namely Warren Johnson in his Peugeot 205. A trio of Honda Civics, driven by Dave Hutchins, Vic Hope and Gideon September were next up, as Ken Angell slotted his T1 BMW into 16th. The full list of times are here:

Race one saw the safety car go at a rather steady pace before unleashing the field of 33 cars. Adrian Bradley led from Ronan with Sidwell in third followed by Seldon. Nick Sutton had slipped back to sixth behind Cripps, then came Reynolds, Rowling, Osborne and Birley. Already there were lots of battles developing throughout the mass of vehicles and it was difficult to know where to look next. Jeremy Sutton was making steady progress from the back of the grid in his Sierra Cosworth, whilst Birley was harassing Osborne until he found a way past on lap 5. He then picked off Rowling and set off after Reynolds. Meanwhile there was an incident between Hope and September on the Brabham straight when the two Hondas came together. Opinions differed as to what exactly happened, but unfortunately both retired. Nick Sutton upped his pace and set the fastest race lap on lap five, as he swept passed Cripps and Seldon. He homed in on Sidwell, gaining third spot on lap 8. Ronan Bradley was his next target who he caught and passed on lap 13. The next incident unfortunately led to the race being prematurely stopped. Birley had got past Reynolds on lap 14, but exiting Clearways the differential in the WRC Escort broke rather violently spewing oil onto the track. Several drivers were caught out by this ending up slipping and sliding to various degrees, most notably Ronan Bradley, Graham Richardson and Andrew Stenning. Quite rightly the clerk of the course stopped the race and declared the result with Adrian Bradley winning from Nick Sutton and Sidwell.  Seldon managed to hold off Cripps in their battle for fourth, with Reynolds taking sixth. Rowling was the leading tin top in 7th, followed by Osborne, whilst Dave Hutchins just held off Warren Johnson in another close finish. Scott was the first lapped runner in 11th as Jeremy Sutton made it up to 12th. Ken Angell was the victor in T1, as Liam Pauling took class T3 honours and Alex Baldwin won the busy TP class. The Caesar electrical driver of the race award went to Alex Martin, who had an entertaining battle with Justin Ross.

Race two was without September, Hope, Birley, Ronan Bradley,  and Kenny Hunt. Steve Dann had swapped his VW Polo for his Scirocco and joined in a bit late. Meanwhile it was another steady rolling lap, which saw Sidwell blast into the lead from Adrian Bradley and Nick Sutton. The white Mitsubishi only lasted a couple of laps, as a fuel leak caused it to slow on Cooper straight and pull off. Sidwell continued to lead, but only just, as the BMW harried him through the corners only to lose out on the straight bits. Cripps was now in third and once Seldon had shaken off the attention of Reynolds, he set about closing up to the E46. This meant we had a battle for the lead and soon there was a tussle for third as well. Reynolds slipped back towards Rowling, but always looked like he had enough in hand. Jeremy Sutton continued his forward march, as he moved up to finish 7th. Osborne chased hard in his Vauxhall to take 8th, pursued by Hutchins who was without Johnson, as the black Peugeot 205 pulled off on lap 10. Steve Dann’s Scirocco was no better behaved than his Polo as he retired as well to compound his bad luck.

Meanwhile the mighty Holden continued to resist the pressure from Bradley’s BMW, as Alex took the win by just over a second. Cripps held on well to take third (second in class B) as Seldon won class D in fourth. Reynolds won class C, whilst Rowling was again best tin top. A really close finish for tenth position went to Colin Claxton in his Mk.2 Ford Escort, as Graham Richardson made an impressive climb from last to take 11th and T1 honours. Adrian Matthews brought his unusual Volvo C30 into 12th  holding off Angell and T3 winner Pauling. These five were covered by just over two seconds, again proving there were battles everywhere. Caitlin May got the better of Dominic Ryan, as Miss May is getting used to slick tyres. Baldwin in 17th  was also the victor in class TP, narrowly edging out the T2 BMW of Callum Perfect. Andrew Stenning, in 19th, won the Caesar electrical driver of the race trophy for his efforts in getting his car fixed just in time. Completing the finishers were Alex Martin, Justin Ross, James Seale (who just beat his father) Ian Seale, followed by Jon Wild and Samuel Haywood.

Despite the obvious speed differences, everyone drove very respectfully and produced two highly entertaining races. The result of which seems to have attracted some additional sponsorship for the tin tops. Good news indeed!  Next stop is Lydden Hill on Saturday July 23rd, where all three of our series will have their own races.


NB: During the course of the day various fuel samples were taken, so all the results remain provisional until further notice

One thought on “Brands Hatch Supers/Tin Tops Report

  1. If the race was stopped ie red flag then the results would go back one lap? Not who crossed the line after the stoppage?
    Therefore I would have won T1.

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