Twenty four cars arrived at Brands in beautiful late summer weather for the HRSR/HSCC ByBox Historic Touring Cars race day including the four drivers still in with a chance of taking the championship.
Practice was scheduled as a fairly short 12 minute session but in the flag was shown after only 9 minutes due to a stranded car.
Championship leader, Tim Davies, led the time sheets on 57.600 with championship rival, Simon Benoy, an astonishing second on 58.125 in his Class E Imp. Roger Cope in his old BMW was next up ahead of Neil Brown, Andy Jones and Bob Bullen – all in the 58 second bracket. In the 59s were Robyn Slater, John Avill and Joe Gomm having a rare outing in his Cortina rather than the BMW he’d lent to Roger Cope. Having their first outings of the year with HRSR were Mike Koskela in his Anglia and Colin McKay in his ‘S’ Type Jag, though Colin has been campaigning his E-Type for the last couple of years in the Guards and E-Type series.
All 24 cars made the start for the race and Andy Jones’ Chamois made a stunning getaway from row 3 to slot in behind Tim Davies’ Cortina at Paddock then cheekily took the lead briefly at Clearways before an oversteering moment at the start of the pit straight lost him four places and he finished the first lap in fifth and dropped another place to Robyn’s Anglia at Paddock at the start of lap two. Great fun whilst it lasted! Tim’s Cortina led Simon Benoy, Neil Brown and Roger Cope for the first couple of laps before Neil slipped by the Imp on lap 3 and Simon lost another place on lap 4 as the cars slowed for the Safety Car flags on Cooper Straight as a result of a spinner at Paddock Hill bend.
Following the departure of the Safety Car the race resumed with Tim eking out a small gap each lap from Neil and he had a cushion of over three seconds by chequered flag fall. Roger Cope kept the BMW close to Neil’s Cortina the whole race, never more than a few tenths behind until backmarkers on the last lap extended the gap to almost four seconds with Simon holding station throughout only another three seconds back, but taking Class E honours. The most entertaining scrap was between Robyn’s Class C winning Anglia and Andy’s Chamois and fifth place changed hands several times as both gave their all and sometimes overdoing things as each strived to get, or stay, ahead. Great entertainment though! Andy eventually pulled out a few seconds in the last few laps as backmarkers intervened.
Another good dice involved the Cortinas of John Avill and Joe Gomm with Bob Bullen’s Anglia. Joe fought his way past the other two and led Bob by almost a second at the start of the last lap but lost the place to the yellow Anglia before losing more time following a coming together whilst lapping Jonathan Townsend’s Cortina at Clearways. Both cars managed to finish the race.
Pete Morgan, in with a chance of sharing the title at the start of the day, pulled off at the hairpin on lap 6 leaving the Class D win to David Owen’s smart Ford Anglia who spent most of the race worrying at the rear of Colin McKay’s Jag.
Apart from Pete Morgan’s Mini Cooper ‘S’ all the starters finished the race and the title chase moves to the season finale at Silverstone on 19th October with Tim Davies and Neil Brown separated by 9 points.
This was published just before the race setting the scene for an exciting day's racing:
25 September 2013
2013 ByBox showdown heads to penultimate round at Brands Hatch
The HSCC meeting on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Saturday 28th September will see four drivers hope to enhance their title chances at the penultimate race of the 2013 HRSR/HSCC ByBox Historic Touring Car season.
Tim Davies currently heads the standings with 87 points having consistently scored in each of the previous 11 races in his Class B Lotus Cortina. He has 8 class wins, having been beaten by Joe Gomm’s BMW in the other 3 races. As only 12 out of the 13 rounds count in the final tally Tim currently is the only driver of the four who will possibly have to drop a score.
Tim’s season long on track rival Neil Brown is currently second in his Class K3 Lotus Cortina on 78 points from his 9 scoring races. His horrendous looking roll at Thruxton plus a non finish at the first Cadwell round have dented Neil’s chances but at least he has no need to drop a score from his season tally. Neil also has 8 class wins and has only been beaten once, by Mark Jones at Oulton Park, this season.
In with a mathematical chance of taking or sharing the title are Simon Benoy’s Class E Hillman Imp (72 points from 8 scores with 8 class wins) and Peter Morgan in a Class D Mini Cooper ‘S’ (69 points from 9 scores with 6 class wins). Simon is probably ruing the fact that the Imp Club annual meeting clashed with Croft and he missed two chances to increase his points tally.
Current Score Potential Maximum
Tim Davies 87 99
Neil Brown 78 96
Simon Benoy 72 90
Peter Morgan 69 87
There remains a lot to compete for in the classes as four of the HRSR ( A,C,D and E) and three of the Appendix K (K2, K4 and K5) class titles are still up for grabs.