Well, round 2 of the 2018 Scrapco Avon Intermarque Championship was certainly a dramatic one for us at Loram Racing, although as we sat trying to fix the campervan back at base in Devon on Saturday afternoon we had no idea what was in store over the coming weekend!
Camper fixed and we were soon on our way to Brands Hatch, arriving at 7:30pm and being pleased to find a very quiet outer paddock with plenty of room to set up. The weather on arrival at Brands (and indeed for most of the journey up) had been absolutely terrible but an enjoyable evening was had under the cover of the gazebo with our friends and fellow racers.
Ready for the days action – Thanks to Keith Duke for the photo
Sunday morning dawned dry, which was a pleasant surprise after we’d been following the weather forecasts all week and expecting at least a little rain first thing. Once we’d made it through scrutineering and swapped the wets for slicks, it was time for Brian and the other 23 Intermarques to head out for qualifying. Another great entry of cars and pleasingly this was despite a number of drivers who had competed in round 1 not being present, and with several more in attendance without their cars. It certainly bodes well for the future.
Qualifying – Thanks to Keith Duke for the photo
Out on circuit and things weren’t going so well for our 262 car with Brian nowhere near as happy with the car as he had been at the previous meeting and thus unable to match the laptimes from last time, his best of 52.8 coming on lap 7 and only being enough for 23rd on the grid. Up at the sharp end Malcolm Blackman took pole with a 49.0, a couple tenths up on Lewis Smith as the pair looked to continue their usual fight at the front.
Back in the pits we had a long time to ponder what had happened to the car with the first race not being due on for several hours. After a close look it was decided to blame the cold weather and early start and try again later! 😉
Thanks to Keith Duke for the photo
When race 1 did finally roll around, the weather was indeed warmer and the 24 cars diving through Paddock bend for the first time was an amazing sight. Brian had a good opening couple laps and was close behind a large group of cars … there seemed to be cars everywhere to be honest. Into lap 5 and Brian moved down the inside of Philip Blackford into Paddock to take 17th place but spun at the hairpin just after and dropped to the back of the field as he spun the car back around and rejoined. The rest of the race was spent circulating but having to move over for the faster cars who were coming through. As others retired a few positions were picked up for a finish and 17th place. Malcolm Blackman took the race win by a large margin from Steve Burrows who keeps bringing home those podiums with Reuben Taylor third. Lewis Smith had been leading (just!) until his retirement on lap 11.
Shortly before it looked less straight and shiny – Thanks to Keith Duke for the photo
Race 2 and despite being in a group of cars racing quite closely together for the whole race, Brian found himself in 21st position, just in front of Mick Robertson and behind series newcomer Colin Smith for the entire race….. hang on, almost the entire race. Lap 15 and things went rather pear shaped for 262 as Brian got wide onto the grass coming out of Graham Hill bend which speared the car back across the track and nose first into the inner barriers. Fortunately Brian was perfectly okay and soon out of the car which was now rather less okay. The race continued on for the final few laps with Malcolm Blackman again taking the win just in front of Lewis Smith whose charge through from near the back of the grid up to second place in the first few laps was exceptional. Ian Hales completed the podium. You can watch our race on Youtube here.
With the race over, our battered Tigra was lifted onto a flat bed lorry and taken back to the pits before the helpful recovery people lowered it straight onto our trailer for us. Thanks, not sure we’d have managed that too easily otherwise with both front wheels pointing in completely different directions!
We haven’t had a particularly close look at the car yet, but from what we saw at the track it certainly wants new front panels, front panel mountings, front suspension, suspension mounts and oil tank. I’m sure that list will continue to grow as we begin dismantling, but the cars had worse before and should be back fighting fit in no time! The important thing is Brian’s fine and we have the added bonus of a nice long break before our next meeting.
Happy Racing everyone, we’ll let you know when she’s fixed!