We’re finally back! A summer of poor fixture scheduling and championship organisation, as well as a random dodgy foot for Brian, has meant that Round 7 of the Avon Intermarque Championship at Brands Hatch on October 28th was our first meeting since all the way back at Round 2 on May 13th! Still, better late than never and we were very glad to be part of a huge 27 car entry, arriving at Brands on Saturday evening before setting up in the pit garages….at least we’d stay dry if the rain arrived….
Nice to see her out of the garage again
Sunday morning and the rain had well and truly arrived, thank goodness for the garages! With wets fitted to all the cars, qualifying was a slippery and busy affair but everyone did well to avoid too many major dramas. It really was amazing to see so many smartly turned out cars on track, it’s definitely worth coming to a meeting to check it out as it’s just impossible to even begin to mention or cover everything here. Up at the sharp end of quali Lewis Smith took pole a whopping 1.3 seconds clear of championship rival Steve Burrows with Malcolm Blackman 3rd. We would line up 23rd after stopping early for a black flag which turned out to be for Volker Timm’s number 261 car and not our 262 car…. We’ll let Brian off for that one, little tricky to spot the exact number on a rainy day.
Back in the pits and Brian wasn’t happy with the car, however we had a good few hours before race one was due to start and the weather was due to improve so we left the car alone, hoping it would be more suited to the drier conditions it’s been working well in recently.
With race one approaching there were many dashes backwards and forwards to pit wall to check on circuit conditions, but in the end it was a pretty unanimous decision from everyone that the circuit just hadn’t dried enough for slick tyres. On a warmer day it might have been possible but the circuit was just taking an age to dry in the freezing cold conditions.
Thanks to Keith Duke for the photo.
So on a drier but still wet track race one was underway. Brian was happier with the car than during qualifying and after dodging a couple of little first lap incidents (mostly) things were progressing nicely as he hopped past Spinks, Smith and Homewood on laps 5, 6 and 7 to move into 18th place. Things took a turn for the worse then though with a little spin onto the grass on the exit of Graham Hill Bend signalling an early end to the race… perhaps the sights of the next car up the road being our friend Philip Young was a bit too much of a red flag to a bull moment for Brian! 😉
Aside from a little bit of gravel rash the car was perfectly fine and ready to go for race 2, although obviously it was a shame to not finish the first one. Lewis Smith converted his pole to a win although was kept honest by Steve Burrows to the flag. Malcolm Blackman recovered from a spin to take 3rd from Ray Harris. You can watch race one on Youtube here.
With a dry track it was slicks all round as 26 cars made their way around the two formation laps for race two. Finishing the first lap in 19th place, Brian would lose a couple spots over the first few laps as he got used to racing the car in the dry conditions again…it’s been so long! Feeling more confident over the coming laps saw the laptimes tumbling, posting a best lap of 51.9 and moving past a few cars and avoiding a reasonable amount of drama and retirements to be running 12th as the safety car came out to allow the marshals to remove Reuben Taylor from the Paddock bend gravel trap. You can watch race two on Youtube here.
Thanks to Keith Duke for the photo.
Unfortunately with time counting down the race would end under the safety car, a real shame as looking at the laptimes it seemed as though 262 would be trying to move into the top 10 given a few more laps. However, a good race finish and no damage from a wet / dry meeting with so many cars present is a good result and we look forward to more of the same at the last meeting of the season back at Brands in November. Looking further ahead into next season and we’re incredibly excited to be continuing to race with the BARC in the Super Silhouette Championship run by Sonny Howard (SHP). They have done an amazingly professional job with the Pickup Truck Championship and us along with the rest of the current drivers are excited to be associated with them next season. More dates and news to follow. Happy Racing everyone!