Brands Hatch Race Report
6 May 1996
Blessed once more with fine weather, the Morgan Motor Company Challenge moved onto Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday May 6th. Although 17 cars were entered only 16 appeared in the paddock.
Sadly, Jan Bulinski was confirmed as a non-starter. As organisers of the meeting, the Aston Martin Owners Club had decided to include two classes of MGB V8s on our grid and with them running on racing slicks (not permitted in the mmcc) it promised to he an interesting race.
Practice.Late morning practice was largely uneventful apart from some grass cutting fiom the expert in that field (!!!! Ed) Grahame Walker, whose admirable enthusiasm had also led him to arrive at the circuit 24 hours early! A very healthy Class E included the welcome appearance of Peter Horsman, with his 1971 Moss-box +8, appearing in the series for the first rime.
By the end of the session, it was Peter Garland who had set the pace while Matthew, suffering handling problems caused by tight kingpins, could only manage second. Third and fourth fastest were the Class B cars of Malcolm Paul and Grahame.
Just after 1.30pm the lights turned green and Peter made a magnificent start to lead the field into Paddock Bend for rhe first time, while further down the grid Mary Lindsay also had a storming start which put her in ninth place as they crossed the line at the end of lap one. Mathew had passed Peter and was leading with Malcolm third and Grahame fourth. Mike Fellows was fifth followed by Martin Kurrein, Chris Springall, Chris Acklam, Mary and Peter Horsman. At the beginning of lap two Mark Baldwin investigated the gravel trap at Paddock, decided he didn't like what he saw and powered out of it, dropping to 12th by the end of the lap.
The top eight places remained the same but Peter Horsman was up to 9th followed by Jack Bellinger and Mary. Behind Mark came John Clarke, Simon Orebi Gann, David James and James Paterson. At the front Matthew and Peter were neck and neck, but Malcolm in third could see nothing through the screen of smoke coming from one of the MGs.
By lap four, Mark had moved up to 8th but yellow flags at Druids indicated some less forgiving gravel which had trapped David James on the outside of the bend. Yellow flags were out at Clearways too, where Chris Springall was executing an elegant spin, losing himself seven places in the process!
Enjoying a super scrap with John Clarke, Jack was up to 9th place by lap 6 with John snapping at his heels at every opportunity. Matthew was negotiating his way through a bunch of backmarkers on Cooper Straight when the ever-present Mr Garland seized his chance and charged past to take the lead on the 7th lap. After a wonderful tussle with Grahame, Mike Fellows was up to 4th and Mark, who had never ever been to the Kent circuit, was in an excellent 6th place.
Matthew made valiant attempts to retake the lead but Peter was equally determined not to let him and went on to cross the line in first place and secure his second win of the season. Matthew had the consolation of breaking his own lap record while Jack Bellinger both won and set a new lap record for Class E. Class B honours went to Malcolm Paul and Class D to Martin Kurrein.The day belonged to Peter though, whose win has paved the way for a possible hat-trick at Donington on June 2nd!
(c) Serena Aston - Race Series Coordinator