Brands Hatch GP (Historic Super Prix) – 11 July 2015
ByBox Historic Touring Cars
Qualifying - first out on Saturday morning - was warm and dry. The Lotus Cortinas of Davies’s Tim and Mark (no relations) were straight on the pace but soon the legendary Falcon of Leo Voyazides edged clear taking pole from Tim by over a second. Very close behind Tim, Warren Briggs’ Mustang gapped Mark for third spot. Row three was an all Mustang affair, Greg Thornton from Pete Hallford, and row four claimed by the Lotus Cortinas of Graham Pattle and John Spiers. Ninth came a new entry to the HTC in the form of Tim Abbott’s BMW and the top ten were rounded off by Tom Jones’ Lotus Cortina. A fine 27 car field took to the track for qualifying, but Bob Binfield’s Mini failed after a lap and wouldn’t make the race.
You practice first, you race first and straight after lunch the touring cars were on track. Leo made not the best of starts and Tim led for a couple of laps from Mark while the V8’s settled down. Leo powered to the front, taking Warren’s Mustang with him, although he was about half a second shy of Leo’s pace and consolidated a solid second place. It looked like Greg and Pete would take their American muscle forward to challenge the Cortinas but Greg had an off at Paddock, fortunate to recover from the gravel, setting him back quite a way, and Pete retired at half distance. If first and second were well set in the form of Leo and Warren, the last podium spot was getting hotly contested. Mark really took the fight to Tim, making his move on lap 8, but Tim wasn’t finished and immediately plotted a way back. He spotted a tiny gap into Druids but Mark closed the door. The resulting tap to Mark’s rear wing spun him round and Tim took advantage. In the remaining laps Mark’s recovery was most impressive and he was less than half a second shy at the flag. Greg recovered to fifth ahead of a great drives by Graham Pattle to sixth and Mark Watts’ Mustang to seventh. Tim Abbott drove a fine but latterly lonely race to eighth ahead of a great tussle for ninth, always headed (just) by John Pugsley’s Lotus Cortina and featuring the Minis of William Ward and Steve Jones, Martin Mellings’ Falcon and the Imps of Steve Platts and Adrian Oliver. Unfortunately Steve retired at half distance with steering maladies and Adrian fell back at the finish but this bunch were all kept busy race long. Behind Adrian in fourteenth (suffering a distinct lack of power) came the last of the unlapped runners with Simon Benoy’s Imp. Richard Owen’s Galaxie burbled next up from Bob Bullen’s Anglia (clutch audibly slipping). Ian Claridge (Anglia), Claire Hedley (Lotus Cortina) and Theo Paphitis’ (Stavros?) Anglia kept each other closely in sight and the finishers were rounded off by Stuart Kerr’s Imp and Kerry Michaels’ Lotus Cortina.
Next up a double header at the Croft Historic Festival, then another at the Oulton Park Gold Cup. You are treated so well! See you there!
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