Race Report Brands Hatch 27th April 2019


After what looked like a promising close season, it was a disappointing entry that descended on Brands Hatch on a cold and slightly damp Saturday, hosted by the MG Car Club.

Only three A Sports, but a warm welcome to Clive Wood, making the long awaited transition from B Sport. And an equally long awaited welcome return to Ant Denham, his first outing since damaging the car at Castle Combe back at the start of 2017.

Just seven B Sports made it to Brands, an entry hampered by health issues, with three regular participants side-lined. However a welcome return at last to Mike Sales, finally Avon shod in his Phantom. Also a warm welcome to Martin Walker, making his motor racing debut in Phil Harts Mallock.

In addition it was great to see Roger Waite, our one Sports 2000 regular and newcomer Cody Tree in his CSP2 Phantom, already showing real pace in the BARC championship.


On a cold, very overcast morning with the real threat of rain, the twelve

cars took to a very slippery track. Proceeding were halted half way through the session  when a very rare mistake by Dave Facer saw him beached in the gravel on the outside of paddock. ‘That’s only my second visit to the kitty litter in the last 20 years’ was no consolation.

Proceedings were restarted and Mark Charteris quickly established his dominance to secure a comfortable pole for both races. Clive Wood took the other front row places with Cody Tree taking third.

B Sport Pole for both races was Barry Webb’s, with Adam Paterson a close second. Before visiting the gravel, Dave Facer did enough to secure third with Roger Waite in the lone Sports 2000 and Steve Littler trading places for row four. Row five was a Phantom affair with Ant Denham and Mike Sales, both having their first outings in two years. Trish Hunter was next up with the unfortunate Martin Walker sidelined with a hub failure and qualifying out of session.


At the lights it was Mark Charteris who got away the best and led Clive Wood into Paddock, closely followed by Barry Webb and Adam Paterson. At the end of the first lap it was Mark from Clive and then the B Sport battle between Barry Webb and Adam Paterson. Next up was Cody Tree, recovering from a bad start and Ant Denham working his way through from his lowly grid position. Dave Facer was third in class, followed by Roger Waite and then Steve Littler, Mike Sales, Trish Hunter and Martin Walker.

On lap three Adam made a precarious move on Barry for the class lead, only to end up in the kitty litter on the way up to Druids. This immediately brought out the safety car and the race stagnated whilst Adams car was recovered.

Strangely, Dave Facer then proceeded to spin behind the safety car, not once but twice. Suspecting a serious issue,  Dave pitted and found an oil line disconnected and the car awash with oil. This would then have an impact on the race, as he had left a reasonable quantity of oil on the track.

After five laps the safety car pulled in and both Clive Wood and Cody Tree fell victim to the oil, both spinning to the back of the field. This left Mark with a very comfortable lead from Ant Denham. In B Sport, with his main rivals gone, Barry was in an equally comfortable position from Steve Littler and Trish Hunter.

At half distance it was Mark, almost a lap clear of the field from Ant Denham, Barry Webb and Roger Waite. Then came a recovering Cody Tree, Steve Littler, closely followed my Mike Sales, Trish Hunter, Martin Walker and a distant Clive Wood almost two laps down.

The order remained constant until two laps from the end, when Mike Sales disappeared into the gravel, promoting Trish to the final podium position in Class B.

At the flag, Mark had lapped the entire field and secured a comfortable win. Ant Denham was a very lonely second and Barry Webb, third overall and B Sport winner. With Mike Sales gone, Steve Littler took his first ever podium with a fine second place, but only just from Trish Hunter. Martin Walker completed his first ever race fourth in class and the final runner was a disconsolate Clive Wood.


With Dave Facer and Cody Tree absent, just ten cars were on the grid for race two. This time it was Clive Wood who got the jump and led Mark into Paddock for the first time. In Class B it was Adam Paterson in front, beating Barry Webb away into Paddock.

At the end of lap one, it was Clive from Mark  and Adam from Barry. Next up was Ant Denham, followed by Steve Littler, Roger Waite, Mike sales, Trish Hunter and Martin Walker.

On lap two, Ant Denham fought his way up to third and Roger Waite found his way past Steve Littler. The battles right at the front of both classes were proving to be very exciting. On lap four, Clive ran wide going in to Clearways and Mark sneaked through, into a lead he would never lose. The B Sport battles were a different story though. Adam maintained a small margin to Barry and looked like he had it covered. On lap fourteen however, they came upon Trish at Clearways. Adam elected to go around the outside of Trish on the exit, whilst Barry sneaked through on the inside and stole a march on Adam into Paddock. Having got in front, Barry managed to eke out a small advantage which he held to the flag.

So at the end, it was Mark again, comfortably from Clive and Ant, they being the only finishers on the same lap. A lap down, Barry took B Sport honours from a disconsolate Adam and a further lap down, Roger Waite had a lonely race. Next was Steve Littler, taking his second podium of the day from Mike Sales. Martin Walker had found his way past Trish and so finished fifth in class.

 Not the best of days with regard to numbers, but no contact and no damage, other than three of our more experienced competitors depleting Brands gravel traps!

A lovely finale to the day with young Oscar, Mike Sales grandson,

presenting the trophies. For a young lad, not yet four years old, he did a wonderful job, mature way beyond his years. Another lovely moment, Mark, presented his second trophy back to Oscar as a keepsake of the occasion, which I’m sure he will remember for years to come.

Driver of the day was awarded to Steve Littler for two fine podium finishes, his first ever. Mechanic of the day went to Jim, Adam Paterson’s mechanic, for beavering away, after Adams visit to the kitty litter in race one.

Once again a big thanks to Sheila and Kerry for superb hospitality, Sheila coming out of retirement, just for this meeting and they live only five minutes away. A lovely spread to keep us going throughout the day.

Personally, that was probably one of my worst days racing ever. However, to put it in perspective, we were joined for most of the day by Steve Clamp, one of our regular competitors in the past. Steve drove himself down from Cambridgeshire to come and watch and to keep us abreast of his health situation. Steve has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and with secondary’s in his liver. It is terminal and at best, he has been told he has 12 months. He is approaching it in a very positive way and it was very humbling to witness his very ‘Glass half full’ attitude. On the way home, it made me realise, maybe my day wasn’t that bad after all.

 Hope to see you all (and more of you!) at Snetterton on June 1st.

Dave Facer

 Prize Giving

Here is Oscar presenting the awards. Oscar…a newbee in the CC paddock was up for mechanic of the day but although he had enough oil on his overalls to qualify the award was given to Jim, Adam Patterson’s mechanic for sterling work after a ‘kitty litter’ incident on race 1.


Steve Littler Driver of the day –  Here is STEVE LITTLER being presented with his DRIVER OF THE DAY award by Oscar.  Steve had a great weekend at the first race of the HSCC CLASSIC CLUBMANS CHAMPIONSHIP season at BRANDS HATCH.  As you can see Steve had already been presented with 2 cups – these were for podium finishes in both races…a new experience for STEVE and one which he will hope to replicate throughout the coming races.  His well deserved DOD champagne was the icing on the cake !

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