Rounds 10 & 11 – Brands Hatch – September 17th.2016

On an overcast day where rain threatened but never came, Mark Charteris maintained his 100% points record and Clive Wood kept alive his slim championship hopes with pole position, two wins and two fastest laps.
This meeting turned out to be a very low key meeting for the HSCC, with several of the formula preferring to go to Spa. Nonetheless it was a very reasonable entry for Classic Clubmans, the 18 car entry only being bettered by the second race at Snetterton earlier in the year.
The split was 7 A Sport, 10 B Sport and a singleton Sports 2000 entry, this time a very good looking March 84S driven by Bruce Balchin. In A Sport it was a welcome return for Mike Lane, having his first outing since Castle Combe and in B Sport, a welcome return to Alan Davenport.
18 cars took to the track at 10:30 in the morning and it soon became clear in the cool conditions, that fastest laps would come at the end of the session. Mark Charteris planted his car on pole by nearly a second and was joined on the front row by Spencer McCarthy, now running consistently fast. These two, the only cars under 48 secs.
Row two saw an ever improving Anttt Denham, just ahead of John Harrison, both cars in the 48 sec bracket. Row three contained Mike Lane and Alan Cook, with David Wale, the remaining A Sport, on the inside of row four. All three cars in the 49’s.
Joining David on row four was Clive Wood, taking B Sport pole from Barry Webb by just over a tenth. Adam Wheeler joined Barry on row five and row six saw Phil Hart and Rachel Green in the Penfold. Fuelling problems saw Rachel’s qualifying cut short.
On row seven were Trish Hunter and Bruce Balchin in the lone Sports 2000. On the inside of row eight was Dave Facer. Dave had his throttle cable jam early in the session, but managed sufficient laps to qualify. He was joined on row eight by Steve Littler. Finally on row nine was John Muirhead and Alan Davenport. John’s car seems quite heavy and his engine is getting very tired, hopefully this can be resolved for next year.
Mark took full advantage of pole and surged away first as the lights went out. Spencer McCarthy stayed with him through Paddock bend for the first time closely followed by John Harrison, Anttt Denham and Mike Lane.
Clive Wood got away well to lead B Sport, but it was a fast starting Rachel who flew through to second. Barry held on to third and it was Phil Hart up to fourth.
At the end of lap one it was Mark from Spencer, Then John, Anttt and Mike Lane. Then the two Mallock run drivers, Alan Cook and David Wale.
Clive led the B Sport contingent across the line, followed by Rachel, Barry, Phil and Adam. Bruce Balchin in the Sports 2000 was next followed by Dave Facer, John Muirhead, Trish Hunter and Alan Davenport.
On lap two Barry found a way past Rachel into second in class, Adam squeezed by Phil to take fourth and Alan found a way past Steve Littler. The A Sport battle remained static with Spencer keeping Mark honest with a great dice emerging between Mike and Anttt.
A lap later Adam went past Rachel to grab third in class and Dave dived inside the very wide Sports 2000 at Paddock and started to close on Phil for fifth. Sadly we also posted the first retirement, when Steve Littler coasted into the pits with a clutch problem.
By half distance the A Sport order remained the same and the field was a little spread out with the exception of the terrific fight between Mike and Anttt, who remained stuck together like glue.
Clive had a cushion to Barry, who also remained clear of Adam and Rachel. Rachel’s use of the kerbs was showing up the fragility of the rear mudguard stays and she lost the first mudguard exiting Clearways at half distance. Luckily it bounced onto the inside of the circuit and out of harms way.
Dave had caught Phil and sailed by on the top straight to move up to fifth. John was seventh, Trish eighth and Alan ninth.
On lap eleven, Trish made a mistake to let Alan through, then a lap later, Bruce Balchin’s lonely race in the March came to an end as he retired to the pits.
Anttt then tried a move on Mike going into Paddock, the end result sadly seeing Anttt end his race in the gravel trap. We then lost John Harrison with a broken gearbox.
Rachel’s remaining mudguard started to rub on the tyre causing a fair amount of smoke. To add to her troubles, she was twice shown the track limits flag. The mudguard finally parted company with the car at the same place as the first one and again it bounced out of harms way.
As the flag came out, Mark had lapped the entire field up to fourth and was 17 secs clear of Spencer in second. Mike Lane comfortably took a lonely third and Alan Cook was fourth, the last unlapped runner. Dave Wale was the final A Sport runner home, going a lap down right at the end.
Clive came home an equally comfortable winner in Class B, some ten seconds clear of Barry. Barry however, was not so comfortable, just managing to stay ahead of a charging Adam Wheeler.
Rachel slowed badly at the end, but just managed to hang onto fourth from a charging Dave Facer, sensing the position was up for grabs. Phil Hart was sixth and John Muirhead seventh. Alan Davenport managed to hold off Trish Hunter for eighth.
Sadly, we lost three competitors from race one with unrepairable mechanical woes. Bruce Balchin with an engine issue, Anttt Denham had a rear stub axle shear and Steve Littler with a clutch issue. So 15 cars took to the grid for race two at 5:10 in the afternoon.
Mark got away cleanly from pole, but it was Mike Lane from row two who got the jump on Spencer McCarthy, so it was Mark and Mike first into Druids. Spencer was a close third, followed by the Mallock pairing of Alan Cook and David Wale. The final A Sport runner, John Harrison, started from the back of the grid, but he was already making progress through the B Sport field.
Clive Wood headed away the B Sport field, followed by Barry Webb and Adam Wheeler. Rachel Green was fourth, ahead of Phil Hart who got the jump on Dave Facer. John Muirhead was eighth, Trish Hunter ninth and Alan Davenport tenth.
The race at the front was top class. Mike Lane was glued to Marks tail and by lap three, Spencer had joined them making it a three way fight for the lead. John had made it through the Class B cars, but his progress seemed to stall as he caught the rear of the A Sport tail. In Class B, Clive established a cushion to Barry, who was just clear of Adam and Rachel.
On lap five Spencer found a way past Mike Lane for second and Mark started to ease away at the front. John had past David Wale for fifth, but that was as far as he would get.
There was no change in the B Sport order, but Dave had caught Phil Hart and was looking for a way past. He tried the outside of Paddock on lap ten, but that nearly ended in disaster for both. He finally managed to make the move stick on lap twelve, to move up to fifth.
Mike had dropped back from Mark and Spencer into the clutches of Alan Cook and John Harrison. This became the battle of the second half of the race.
Back in B, Adam was holding on to third, but as the race reached the closing stages, Rachel was pushing him very hard (literally!). On lap 17 Adam got slightly out of shape exiting Graham Hill bend and Rachel was too close to avoid him. The consequent collision put Rachel out and delayed Adam enough for both Dave and Phil to pass him.
By the flag, Mark had established a 12 second lead over Spencer, lonely in second. Mike Lane managed to keep clear of Alan Cook to take the final podium position with Alan fourth and John Harrison fifth. David Wale was sixth, the last unlapped runner.
The battle at the front of B Sport went the other way. From a comfortable lead in the first half of the race, Clive had to hang on for dear life at the end. Barry had pulled him in and they crossed the line just 0.3 secs apart. Some way back, Dave Facer took the final podium position, having inherited it when Adam and Rachel tangled. Phil Hart took fourth and Adam recovered to take fifth. John Muirhead was sixth just ahead of Trish Hunter in seventh. Alan Davenport was the final runner home in eighth.
Mike Lane’s tremendous performance in both races deservedly earned him the driver of the day award. Andy Harrison, in managing to build one good gearbox from two between the two races, was the very worthy recipient of the mechanic of the day award.
Hospitality was once again superb and the talk of the paddock. Many thanks to Sheila Sales and her helpers, Charlotte and Jean. Having driven directly to Brands from the South of France, Kerry was distinctly under the weather, so a big hand for Charlotte and Jean for stepping in.
With just one race to go, the top three in each class can now start practising tying their bow ties for the HSCC awards evening. However there are still issues to be resolved regarding the steps on the podium. In A Sport, Mark Charteris is Champion. He just needs to take pole and win with the fastest lap at Silverstone to record a perfect season. However, there is just four points between second and third. Spencer McCarthy effectively needs to beat Alan Cook to secure second place.
In B Sport the position is slightly different. Adam Wheeler finishes in third place. He cannot be caught and he cannot catch second place. At the top, Barry Webb leads Clive Wood by eleven points. Barry has five wins and three seconds. Clive has four wins and two seconds. Consequently, equal points would see the championship going to Barry on countback, even if Clive won the final race. Barry therefore just needs to finish seventh or better to secure the championship.
Our average grid size this year currently sits at 15.8. If we can have 20+ cars at Silverstone, we will average over 16 cars per race. This is an important figure so please; let’s have a real effort to get out for the final race of the season. Hope to see you there.
Lots of Love
Susie Fx

The Demonic Perm. XxXxX

Jeff Bloxham, our official formula photographer, wasn’t with us at Brands….he preferred the HSCC race at Spa!!! Can’t imagine why :))).  so dearth of pics…will add when any come available….and they have!!

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