Brands Results 120610

Brands Hatch Lewis-Evans Trophy 12th June 2010

Just nine cars turned out at Brands Hatch for the first of June’s events, many apparently eschewing this event for VSCC Cadwell Park the week following. There was certainly scope for a decent race with both of last year’s winners - Nigel Ashman and Neil Hodges - joined by Richard Ellingworth in the Parker-Kieft and Darrell Woods in his Cooper. The balance of the field also looked interesting with four mid-field runners joined by Patrick Morin joining us once more with his Cooper. A healthy group of pushers included three generations of Frosts (Simon now back to full pushing fitness), John Furlong and David Lecoq.

Practice finally got underway at lunchtime, and an immediate casualty was Richard, flooding the odd fuelling system. Some good work by his crew got him out with five minutes to spare, posting a decent third behind Neil and Nigel. The former matched his pace from last season but was disappointed that Nigel had found another second in the white Kieft. Richard also felt he was already close to his limit, and some negotiations followed on tactics to tempt Nigel into a fight rather than flight. Completing the second row was Darrell, three seconds adrift of the leaders and two ahead of the pack. But that pack looked like adding spice to the race - this “Senior Class” of Mike Gilbert, David Stevenson and David Whiteside joined by Kerry Horan in the Trenberth. All four looked handy with positions changing throughout the session and the four ending covered by just a second and a quarter. What was notable was all nine cars completing the session and returning to the Paddock in fine fettle. Little more than a wipe down was required, which must be a recent record.

Plenty of pushers, must be a sunny day.... Photo Carol Woods

Of course it couldn’t last, and uncomfortably close to race time a broken valve spring was spotted on Nigel’s Norton. With no spares in the Paddock, it looked like a scratch, but once again Frostie came to the rescue. A call home, and directions over the phone turned up the necessary component in the stores. A rather spirited drive from mate John got the part to the gate just as the other cars began the trek over to the Assembly Area. Even so, it was a surprise to see Nigel join them comfortably before the release onto track. So a full nine cars took the start. A fluff from Neil let Richard ahead before Paddock Hill, but a block pass at Druids regained second place. These three quickly pulled away from the field, and the plan to harry Nigel seemed to be working as they remained split by a second or less. On Lap 3, Nigel seemed to be edging away, and along Bottom Bend Richard wound the Kieft-Norton up to pass for second, blocking the inevitable fight back by Neil around the long Clark-Clearways loop.

Neil was struggling to hang on unless the two ahead started battling, but Richard looked like really being able to have a go. Through the third and fourth lap he edged onto Nigel’s tail. But crossing the line for a fourth time the Norton’s magneto fell apart and he was out. From there, the race was in the bag, Nigel edging away by around a second a lap to win. All alone between the two groups, Darrell had a lonely race, frustrated not to have any of the other B-group drivers to fight. With Richard’s retirement he was at promoted to a podium, and just avoiding being lapped.

Nigel takes McLaren

The Seniors did live up to their promise. A poor start from David Stevenson dropped him to the back of the field some ten seconds adrift. Mike Gilbert led the group, from Kerry and David Whiteside. Mike was looking decidedly racy, notably more aggressive through Surtees than we have previously seen, and he eased away from Kerry at about a second a lap. David W looked comfortable behind Kerry, but after four laps he lit up, passing Kerry, and setting off after Mike some six seconds up the road.

Both drivers really got on with it, Mike the hare shaving a full second and a half from his practice time, but David the hound finding a full three seconds! By their ninth lap David was on Mike’s tail and looking for a way around. A run out of Druids didn’t work, so next time around David went for a late turn in looking for the extra drive down to Graham Hill Bend. Neil, coming up behind to lap the blue Cooper got a grandstand seat as the car got sideways at the exit of Druids, then launched up onto two wheels. It landed safely, but having lost the tail of Mike’s later Cooper, David accepted he had found the limit for the day. It was still a 68 second lap, quicker than practice.

Passed by David W, Kerry slipped back to a recovering David Stevenson. He also dropped below his practice times by a second, and for some laps looked like attacking the cars ahead, but although he passed Kerry the others were too far ahead. He would finish sixth. Kerry motored to the finish, the Vincent sounding slightly sick, but finally completing a meeting with a full complement of pistons - hopefully an end to his troubles. Lanterne Rouge was Patrick Morin - his first run on the short circuit and in the dry (his only other run at Brands being the sodden Iota Trophy on the Grand Prix circuit).

 Classified Finishers

Pos Name Car Class Time Laps Best

Fastest Lap: Richard Ellingworth - Parker-Kieft-Norton - 1:02.369

DNF: Richard Ellingworth - Parker-Kieft-Norton

Report by Richard Hodges

Our thanks the British Racing and Sports Car Club and to Steve Lewis-Evans

Points Table

1 Nigel Ashman Kieft CK52-Norton B 15:50 15 1:02.609
2 Neil Hodges Cooper Mk VIII-JAP C 16:03 15 1:02.742
3 Darrell Woods Cooper Mk VIII-Norton C 16:53 15 1:05.597
4 Mike Gilbert Cooper Mk IX-Norton C 16:15 14 1:06.931
5 David Whiteside Cooper Mk VII-Norton B 16:16 14 1:06.777
6 David Stevenson Cooper Mk VIII-Norton C 16:33 14 1:7.847
7 Kerry Horan Trenberth-Vincent B 16:45 14 1:10.390
8 Patrick Morin Cooper Mk XIII-JAP C 16:15 13 1:11.978

So Nigel retains the Lewis-Evans Trophy, which was presented again by Stuart’s son Steve. Not just gracing us with his presence, Steve had been so kind as to have a new Trophy made, replacing the photo of the original used last year. Many thanks indeed for that generous gesture. As well, congratulations should go to David Whiteside for the drive of the day, missed by most but mighty impressive, to Simon and Johnno for saving the day for Nigel, and to John Furlong for volunteering for a bit of mic duty in the commentary box.

Neil concentrates

Kerry finally gets a finish

Steve Lewis-Evans presents the Lewis-Evans Trophy to Nigel Ashman, Neil Hodges and Darrell Woods. Photo Carol Woods