Some tremendous racing on the wonderful Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch headlined the annual Historic Sports Car Club Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix meeting (July 14-16).
After a warm-up day on the Indy circuit on Friday, the action moved to the spectacular Grand Prix circuit for Saturday and Sunday with two very full days of racing. Graham Fennymore, Callum Grant, Neil Glover and Matthew Watts were among the notable winners.
The biggest winner of the weekend was Historic Formula Ford 2000 racer Graham Fennymore, who scooped three wins to cement his position at the head of the championship contest. In damp and tricky conditions on Friday, and in the dry on Saturday, Fennymore was peerless.
Going into the weekend, Fennymore knew that this would be a critical weekend for the championship contest, and he duly delivered. However, he was denied a clean sweep of four race wins in a shortened final race which feature two red flags. A five-second penalty for excessive weaving on the green flag lap dropped Fennymore down the final order and handed the win to Jordan Harrison.
A whole gaggle of challengers tried to take the fight to Fennymore including Harrison, Ben Glasswell, Richard Coleman, Ollie Roberts, championship newcomer Chris Stockton and Marc Mercer and it was Mercer who stayed the closest to Fennymore in Friday’s second race, finishing just over two seconds adrift.
The joint Guards Trophy and Thundersports races delivered a great spectacle and on Saturday it was two Royales that made all the running. Initially, Dan Eagling led in a newly restored RP17 but when he struck clutch problems Rob Wainwright was there to pounce in Gwyn Pollard’s RP6/17, while Robert Parker and Paul Cope rounded out the overall Thundersports podium.
There was some great battling among the Guards Trophy sports racing cars and it was Ben Tusting who emerged ahead of Stephen Nuttall and Simon Jackson after some great competition. The mighty TVR Griffith of John Davison was the best of the GT cars within the Guards Trophy.
On Sunday, Eagling was superb as he went from the back of the grid to score a resounding win over Parker as Cam Jackson narrowly won the Guards division from Tusting after a long battle. Davison did a GT double but hard to work hard when the Lotus Elan of Horatio Fitz-Simon arrived on his tail from near the back of the grid.
When he put his March 772 on pole by a commanding margin, Matthew Watts underlined his status as favourite for the two Historic Formula 2 races and, sure enough, he won the opener by a handy margin over the later 782 of Brian Morris. Keith White had a great run to finish a class-winning third in his March 76B while Luciano Arnold bagged another class win in his Brabham BT36. On Sunday, with Morris non-starting after his Formula Ford accident on Saturday, Watts romped home from Mike Bletsoe-Brown (Chevron B27) after White posted a mid-race retirement.
A combined 70s Road Sports and Historic Modsports and Special Saloons field featured tremendous variety and resulted in a commanding victory for Ollie Reuben in his TVR Griffith. He was able to out-distance the Davrian Mk8 of Myles Castaldini, who had to work hard to fend off the MG Midget of Paul Sibley in the Modsports section. In the Road Sports division John Davison, in his latest Lotus Elan S4, was a clear victor over John Williams (Porsche 911SC) and Martin Pratt (Morgan Plus 8).
A wonderful 30-car historic Formula 3 grid delivered a tremendous opening race, although unfortunately, it finished behind the safety car with a stricken car on the edge of the track. But that made no difference to Samuel Harrison, who bagged another victory in the Speedsport Brabham BT18B as Andrew Hibberd worked his BT18 up into second after some great dicing. Peter de la Roche and cousins Jeremy and Jason Timms were all in the contest for the final podium position. Harrison bagged another win on Sunday as Jeremy and Jason Timms rounded out the podium.
The opening Historic Formula Ford 1600 race was another superb contest although it had to be stopped and restarted after Brian Morris was tipped over in his Lola T200 at Druids after a clash of wheels, thankfully without major harm. Three drivers made the bulk of the running as Callum Grant, Richard Tarling and Benn Simms battled mightily for the lead. However, up from a pit lane start came Linton Stutely after a misfire developed in his Royale RP3 on the warming up lap and then cleared.
A brief mid-race safety car helped Stutely make up more ground and he towed himself up to the lead contest, just as Simms spun the Jomo into the gravel at paddock, possibly after being caught by a gust of wind. Grant just managed to wriggle clear but Stutely was able to overcome Tarling for second after a fantastic performance. Grant moved closer to his third title with another win on Sunday despite constant pressure from Stutely and Tarling.
Neil Glover was the class of the Aurora Trophy and Classic F3 contest in his stunning Formula 5000 Chevron B37 and took a double win. With Christian Pittard’s Chevron B28 an early retirement on Saturday it was Peter Williams who led the chase of Glover in his LEC F1 car and Williams drove well to stay on terms with the F5000. Mike Bletsoe-Brown brought his Chevron B27 up into third while Simon Jackson topped the Classic F3 pack in his Chevron B43, although the fast starting Ben Stiles ran at the front of the group initially in his Formula Ford 2000 Van Diemen RF82. Glover did it again on Sunday but had Pittard as a constant rival while Jackson won the F3 division again.
The Formula Junior race was unfortunately impacted by two safety car incidents and finished with a one lap dash to the flag as Horatio Fitz-Simon added another narrow victory over Clive Richards. Nick Fennell and Stuart Roach lead the chase of the top pair while the best of the front engined runners was Alex Morton, who did well to get his Condor up into 11th overall among many of the rear engined cars.
Martin Hunt’s lovely HWM Jaguar scooped a double win in the Griffiths Haig Trophy races despite an ever-present challenge from the Lola Mk1 of John Chisholm. Jonathan Cobb (Cooper Bristol) and Theo Hunt (Frazer Nash) had two good battles for third, finishing with one third place each.
John Davison used his Lotus Elan’s nimble handling to great effect as he swept to a resounding Historic Road Sports victory on Sunday. The 25-minute race pushed the brakes and tyres of the bigger engined cars and it was John Shaw who sneaked his Morgan Plus 8 into second in a dramatic finish. The Morgan was little more than a tenth of a second up on Kevin Kivlochan’s Shelby Cobra as they crossed the line.
Cam Jackson dropped into the SDC Classic Formula Ford Championship in Simon Hadfield’s Titan Mk4 to take an impressive double win as Joseph Ahrens, Ben Tinkler, Simon Toyne and Rick Morris led the chase. With Ahrens out mid-race in the second counter, Jackson was able to take a bigger winning margin.