CMMCS Silhouettes at Brands 5 June 2021 – race report

Report by Adam Grant whom we thank warmly.

The club’s decision to run standalone races for the Avon tyres intermarque silhouettes was certainly vindicated at Brands Hatch. A wonderful entry of 26 very colourful cars graced the sunshine and dry conditions for the Indy circuit. Several newcomers (and returning oldcomers) made for some great racing. Amongst the new boys we welcomed Tom Hutchins, Jon Price, Mark Sear, Dave York and Scott Aprigliano.May be an image of car and road

Qualifying saw the pre-event favourites soon rise to the top of the time sheets. Ray Harris eventually set the bench mark with a lap time of 49.429 seconds in his Ginetta. Malcolm Blackman lined up second in his familiar Tigra, with the similar car of Steve Burrows next up. Leading senior driver was Mike Thurley in fourth with his Ginetta. Four Vauxhall Tigras filled the next two rows in the hands of Ian Hales, Paul Knight, round one winner Colin Smith and Chris Ayling. Richard Smith slotted his Mercedes into ninth from Danny (son of Colin) Smith’s Tigra. Phil Spinks was a competitive 11th in his all black Tigra from the stunning new Ford Fiesta of Simon Smith. Ricky Hunn junior had his now orange Mazda RX8 in 13th spot from almost birthday man Mick Robertson in his VW Corrrado. Mark Sear made the long journey from Cornwall and lined up 15th in his green Tigra, whilst poor Danny Hunn had the engine break in his father’s Mazda RX8 so sat the day out. The rest of the qualifiers were as per TSL Intermarque Classification ( , plus the bright blue Mercedes of Daniel (son of Richard) Smith which had only done a lap before a halfshaft broke. Luckily his previous track knowledge allowed him to join in.

The first race saw an orderly start with Blackman snatching the lead and Burrows squeezing into second from Harris. Lap two unfortunately saw the safety car appear, as a kerfuffle at Paddock Bend resulted in Dave York getting stranded in the gravel. Once extracted he limped up to Druids hairpin and the car promptly stopped, so the hard working marshals quickly pushed him to a safe area. In the meantime the clock was ticking down and the re-start was run as a five minute sprint. It did still produce an intense battle with Blackman seemingly in control. However, a bold move by Burrows exiting Clearways on lap 10 proved to be the decisive action. As Steve held on to take a well deserved win, Malcolm just fended off the attentions of Ray. Meanwhile enjoying a close view of all this was Thurley in a strong fourth overall (also winning the senior group award). Hales had the measure of the next group as Colin Smith battled with Ayling. Charging through from last position was No.33 Daniel Smith who usurped his father with two laps to go. It looked like Simon Smith was going to finish tenth, but a last lap pass by Knight got him that rather important position. Sear drove well to claim 12th, with Kiely claiming 13th from Spinks and an on form John Steward. 490 Danny Smith was the only other retirement, pulling off at the start with suspension failure.

The draw for the starting grid for race two was carried out by Burrows, and Steve pulled out No.10. This promoted Knight to pole position. The usual mad scramble towards Paddock Bend saw Colin Smith and a fast starting Harris vying for the lead. A spin by Jon Price saw the safety car appear again, but this time it was only for a couple of laps. Colin made a well controlled re-start, but inevitably Harris soon took the lead. Unlike the first race, Ray got his head down and soon opened up a commanding margin. Attention now focused on the runner spot, as Colin fended off Knight and Hales. The impressive No.33 Daniel Smith then charged through into second, although he was soon demoted by the flying Blackman. Burrows pulled off with a hole in his radiator, as Thurley made steady progress into fourth. Plenty of action throughout the field highlighted how competitive this series is now. With the first four positions settled it was Hales who took fifth with Colin Smith sixth. Richard Smith got the better of Knight for 7th, with Sear in 9th. Best prepared car winner Simon Smith took 10th. Kiely held off the fast moving 490 Danny Smith (driver of the race award winner) with Ricky Hunn junior in 13th.  Veteran Steward diced well with Robertson, whose mechanic won a case of beer for his efforts in getting Mick out on track. Tom Hutchins had a steady debut in the Scrapco Mazda RX8 with Philip Young, Sprinks, Aprigliano and Paul Cocksedge completing the finishers. Despite retiring Brian Loram picked up a slab of chocolate for his long drive back to Devon. We thank Richard Smith and Paul Cannon for the extra awards.

It was really good to see the drivers and cars back in action at their spiritual home. Next Sunday sees them travel to Mallory Park, where they will be joined by the club’s other two series plus the Ford modified saloons.

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