2014 Race Reports – Round 4: Brands Hatch – 4 May 2014

Words and Pictures by : Phil (Scoop) Broster.

‘e’mail : phil_scoop@hotmail.co.uk

Sunday 4th May and Brands Hatch saw the second day of the weekend’s racing in the Lackford Engineering Midget and Sprite Challenge. Most people had survived the previous day and after a night’s rest were eager to have another crack at this tight, famous circuit.

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There was only one absentee from the list of entrants and that was Richard Perry who had to leave due to a previous engagement. However, that still left us with 20 cars to contest this round.

A trip around the Paddock found one or two people with maintenance to do, the most serious being Paul Sibley, who found when his car was being pushed that a problem in his gearbox left a selection problem. A repair was carried out during the morning but doubt hung over whether the car would last the race.

Andrew Actman was concerned about his cars handling the previous day and so spent some time tightening bolts around the axle area in an attempt to sort the issue.

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Robin Lackford found his fuel filter full of debris from the tank, break up of foam being the chosen reason. Paul Campfield decided to change his oil, and chatting to Dave Weston he felt his differential wasn’t suited to the circuit. Other than that people were cleaning, polishing and generally fiddling with their machinery, oh!, and I watched a really cool ‘in car’ video taken from Martin Morris’ car the previous day! Technology eh!!

The grid was, as usual, decided from the second fastest qualifying time and was basically as the day before except for Robin Lackford and Phil Attwood who swapped places for this race.

Just before our race I decided to place myself on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend to get a different perspective for photos, and would you believe it, I’m watching a Metro race and one of them has his engine let go, in big style, exciting the corner! You got it, oil!! everywhere!!, right on the racing line and right the way up to Druids. Out came the marshals with the cement dust, or to be precise, plaster these days, and the track has a layer of white dust all over it. It’s too late for me to find a different vantage point, great, I’m going to have fun getting decent shots! and more to the point, trouble breathing!!

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The grid formed and with all the delays during the day our race was reduced to 12 mins, that’s at least 3 laps less, but with a curfew on track activities after 6pm, that’s the reality of modern racing.

The lights started the race and into and out of Paddock Sibley was in the lead, Weston was second, Dunkley third, and I could make out Morris in fourth, and that was it for the first lap as the field filed through in a cloud of dust making it impossible to see, let alone photograph.

Next lap the dust had settled and Sibley was a long way in front, Dunkley was challenging Weston and Morris was fourth. Behind them came the season’s perpetual battle of Southcott and Pratt. Campfield was next and these three would get together for the rest of the race with Campfield splitting the yellow cars at the flag. Watkins wasn’t far behind with Robin Lackford there as well and this group would provide much of the entertainment for the race, Watkins getting ahead of Pratt at one point.

Actman had a lone race but behind him Lackford N, Attwood, Bernberg and Harman were fighting together, with Attwood finishing ahead of the others.

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Meanwhile up front we lost Dunkley after 5 laps, who had looked like gaining second place from Weston. However the pressure wasn’t off Dave because Morris was soon snapping at his heels! But, as Murray Walker used to say, “Catching someone is one thing, passing them is another”!

Then, on lap 9 we also lost Morris, Weston was obviously using a ‘cloaking’ device to repel boarders! That moved Reeve up into third, albeit all alone ahead of the now 4th place battle of Southcott et al!

Oh, and sorry Edward!, young Easton had a half spin at Druids, narrowly avoided by Bernberg, but got going again for a couple of laps before retiring on lap 9.

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As the minutes ran down, Sibley took the flag over five seconds ahead of Weston who was now comfortably ahead of Reeve. Southcott won the fourth place fight from Campfield ahead of Pratt, Watkins and Lackford R.

Next came Actman from Attwood, Lackford N. and Harman. Bernberg, Bridge, Chadwick, Jenkins and Homer completed the order.

Another good race and we move on to Castle Combe for the next round. See you there.

Scoops momentous moment : choking on that first lap!

To see all the pictures from the events, click here or click on the Gallery tab above. To see the full results and points scored during the season, click Points scored by class.

Details of the championship can be found on here or by contacting Gil Duffy on 01886 880882 or gilduffy@supanet.com