Brands 750 MC Results 210608

Brands Hatch 21st June 2008

A good entry of nineteen cars meant that the 750 Motor Club decided to split the 750 Trophy race into two, giving us almost a dedicated race, with only a couple of Formula V cars for company. Midsummer’s day in Kent opened with cool, overcast and wet conditions, though fortunately not the gales that were due. How nice it is to see the Coopers outnumbered by the other marques for a change. Despite a few regulars missing, we saw Rodney Delves back in the André Loens Kieft (matched by Nigel Ashman in the Dick Irish sister car), David Lecoq (Petty), and Kerry Horan looking to finally put his piston woes behind him.


The persistent drizzle finally gave way to the summer sun just as the cars left the Assembly Area. With steam rising off the damp tarmac, times were a little unrepresentative, as those who stayed out longest posted faster and faster times. It made for a shuffled grid with Neil Hodges & David Lecoq some way back in sixth and fourteenth. With his Arnott now under the eye of Simon Frost, John Chisholm was delighted to be able to string together some decent lappery free of misfires and other woes - equally delighted were the pushers, as the normally recalcitrant car fired quickly on the downhill part of pit lane! Nigel Ashman surprised himself by taking pole, by a very healthy second and a half, having switched from his usual Cooper into the less familiar white Kieft. Simon Frost, standing in for Mark Palmer in the ex-Griswold Cooper Mk IX, would start alongside. Row two consisted of James Holland (Cooper Mk VIII JAP), having had extra Wheatabix that morning, and Roy Hunt's Martin. Gordon Russell put the Mackson into fifth with Neil alongside.

There were surprisingly few post-practice woes, and most teams were left with a long wait until race time. Mike Gilbert failed to post a time having gone to make sand castles at Druids but would complete his mandatory laps later, but the Emeryson of Marek Reichman refused all attempts to fire. Marek & brother Julian took the time to run through everything else before packing up. Rumour has it that Julian’s Cooper Mk VI is finally approaching completion, and Ecurie Reichman might just make an appearance before the end of the 2008 season.

Simon dives up the inside of Roy at Druids.


So twenty-two cars lined up for the race, now under summer sun and on a dry track. Nigel Ashman made a clean start from pole, but second man Frost dropped several places. Around Graham Hill Bend the first ten or so cars appeared in single file - Nigel from the Apal Vee of Erle Minhinnick, James Holland, Neil Hodges, Roy Hunt, Simon Frost and David Lecoq. Mid-pack, Rodney rode the exit kerb, rupturing the front right torsion spring, and completing a lazy spin right across the path of a frenetic tail end. Fortunately no contact was made. Rodney tried to continue, but the nose was dragging and he retired to pit lane. Nigel eased a small gap from the Vee who in turn led by a second from Roy Hunt, who had sneaked past James Holland at the beginning of the second lap. Whilst Neil nipped past at the end of the second lap to set after Roy, James continued his good progress and would appear around Bottom Bend time and again seemingly unaware of Davis, Simon, and Gordon Russell (in the Mackson) three abreast right behind him. Fastest of these should have been Simon, but he was hampered by a misfire. On a couple of occasions he would get beside James, only for the latter to hold the line into Surtees and on to Clearways.

Nigel Ashman's beautiful Kieft, or is that Nigel Ashman's beautiful, Kieft?

And not so far behind was John Chisholm, battling with a Vee and easing away from Kerry Horan. Paul Hewes came next, his car slowing through the race, followed by Shirley Monro, James Gray in the Comet, Mike Gilbert and John Jones in the Cousy. Richard Bishop Miller was running well a few seconds back, but would retire when the engine sprocket broke free after four laps. Hakan had been going well but his JBS went sick after two laps and would struggle to the end. John Potts brought up the rear the lovely Monaco.

In this second group, James Gray and John Jones were looking very racy. James made short work of the Shirley pack, disposed of Paul and if the race had run its full course would surely have taken Kerry. John didn’t just hold on to the Shirley group, he made his way past Shirley, then Mike Gilbert, then took Paul just before the end of the seventh lap.

Back at the front, Nigel was holding station some five seconds or so ahead of the Vee, Roy about two seconds back and seemingly unaware of the Hodges threat behind. David, Simon and Gordon finally found a way past James when the latter slowed for no obvious reason for half a lap. David and Simon held close formation, but Gordon could not shake of James.

Lap seven, and Neil gets a run on Roy onto Bottom Bend. Third quickly became second as the Apal Vee pulled off. As we’ve seen before, this was like a red rag to a bull, and Roy immediately began the fight back. As these two slowed each other, David Lecoq (with the hobbled Simon in his shadow but unable to make the move) was three seconds back, closing, and setting up a very interesting final third of the race. Neil led into Druids on lap eight, somewhat surprised to find a stationary Vee facing the wrong way half way around, and Shirley up on two wheels. Roy took advantage on the run down to Graham Hill Bend, whilst David & Simon were less than two seconds adrift and still coming, even as Neil reattached himself to the tail of the Martin through Clearways. This was looking very interesting, and all eyes were looking for their next appearance.

Richard Bishop-Miller's Mk II


Except it wasn’t to be. As lap nine began, the red flags came out and we in the pits nervously ticked off the cars we could see. Out of sight, Shirley’s incident had been somewhat exciting, see photo below. Later, the other party (Bob Hatton in a Vee) was kind enough to come over to check on Shirley and explain what happened. Bob, having his first ever race, was already a lap down as the ninth lap began, and Nigel Ashman was coming up quickly. Bob tried to get out of Nigel’s way, but in doing so missed a gear approaching Druids. Nigel was through, but as the Vee rotated at the exit of the corner, Shirley (just lapped) found him right in her way. Wheels interlocked and the Cooper was thrown into the air. Although Shirley was able to walk away, she has taken a fair knock in the back and there was a nasty tyre mark on the cockpit by her elbow. (Shirley is already looking forward to Croix. She and Bill wish to send their thanks for the good wishes and help with the Cooper - Ed). Red flags brought everyone to standstill and, as is the norm in this situation, the results were declared counting back one lap before the last completed. Which meant Neil kept second and Roy was demoted to third.

Classified Finishers

Pos Name Car Time Laps Best

Fastest Lap: Simon Frost - Cooper Mk IX 1:02.35 1:32.892

DNF: Shirley Monro - Cooper Mk IV, Richard Bishop-Miller - Cooper Mk II, Rodney Delves - Kieft     DNS: Marek Reichman - Emeryson

Our thanks to the 750 Motor Club and to Ben Cowdrey for the photos.

Report by Richard Hodges


 Points after Round 6

Another good win for Nigel, gives him an unassailable lead in the championship but with no Mike Fowler or John Turner this weekend and a good race for Neil and Roy, the medal positions are wide open with only five points separating these four drivers.


1 Nigel Ashman Kieft 7:30 7 1:02.49
2 Neil Hodges Cooper Mk VIII 7:36 7 1:02.96
3 Roy Hunt Martin 7:36 7 1:03.96
4 David Lecoq Petty 7:38 7 1:02.83
5 Simon Frost Cooper Mk IX 7:40 7 1:02.35
6 Gordon Russell Mackson 7:47 7 1:04.63
7 James Holland Cooper Mk VIII 7:48 7 1:05.06
8 John Chisholm Arnott 8:02 7 1:06.33
9 Kerry Horan Trenberth 8:22 7 1:09.14
10 James Gray Comet 8:24 7 1:08.20
11 John Jones Cousy 8:27 7 1:08.69
12 Paul Hewes Cooper Mk VIII 8:27 7 1:09.20
13 Mike Gilbert Cooper Mk IX 8:29 7 1:09.58
14 Hakan Sandberg JBS 7:33 6 1:12.55
15 John Potts Monaco 9:11 6 1:28.77

The stars of the race were definitely in the midfield. James Holland’s drive was impressive, and we hope to see more of the same. James Gray (in only his second race appearance in the Comet) was getting faster on every lap - at this rate he will soon be exploiting the potential we know the car has, mixing it towards the front of the pack. John Chisholm (known to be a handy pilote in the right car) had the Arnott going better than we have seen. And finally John Jones and the Cousy looks rather handy. All four were quite rightly chuffed at their performances, and if we can have more of the same, there is going to be some good racing halfway down the grid.

Neil avoids a spinner at Druids. Photo Ben Cowdrey.

Paul Hewes on his way to 12th.

Shirley doesn't......