Brands Hatch - 7 May 2000
|11||39||C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||57.31||9||4.39||123.96||77.02|
Brands Hatch - 7 May 2000
|10||39||C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||11:34.50||12||43.72||76.27||56.42||3||78.24|
|13||17||D||Jack Bellinger||+8||11:01.60||11||1 lap||73.39||58.39||3||75.60|
|14||71||D||Kelvin Laidlaw||+8||11:09.03||11||1 lap||72.57||59.43||2||74.27|
|15||51||E||Alan Wickenden||+8||11:13.12||11||1 lap||72.13||59.61||10||74.05|
|16||45||C||Andy Green||+8||11:14.00||11||1 lap||72.04||58.45||10||75.52|
|17||18||E||John Clarke||+4||11:22.80||11||1 lap||71.11||1:00.50||8||72.96|
|18||42||D||Jeremy Holden||+8||11:22.90||11||1 lap||71.10||59.82||9||73.79|
|19||7||D||Mary Lindsay||+8||11:27.00||11||1 lap||70.68||1:00.70||4||72.72|
|20||19||E||Chris Dady||4/4||11:32.13||11||1 lap||70.15||1:01.29||3||72.02|
|21||31||D||Leigh Sebba||+8||11:32.50||11||1 lap||70.11||1:01.30||8||72.01|
|22||11||E||David James||+4||11:44.80||11||1 lap||68.89||1:01.60||3||71.66|
|23||52||D||Ian Hepburn||+8||11:45.05||11||1 lap||68.87||1:02.13||8||71.04|
|24||44||E||Stephen Wheatley||4/4||11:45.54||11||1 lap||68.82||1:01.77||10||71.46|
Brands Hatch - 7 May 2000
|Lap record||C||James Paterson||+8||55.61||127.75||79.38|
|Lap record||E||Alan Wickenden||4/4||59.61||119.18||74.05|
Brands Hatch - 7 May 2000
Was it just your scribe who thought that the Brands’ paddock was emptier than normal? This may be a reaction against the Bernie/Nicola axis on price, but the Morgan drivers were there in force and determined to maximise their value for money in the sun.
It seems that race car drivers are right up there alongside paedophiles and rapists in the eyes of the political do-gooders who wish to raise their own stock by taking cheap and easy headline-grabbing measures against soft targets who lack the moral or environmental high ground to fight back [Ed: 2 Jags Horsman socks it to ’em]. We’re talking noise tests here.
Poor old Jeremy Holden hit the jackpot in his boggish standard Moss Box with 110dbA and, astounded with his success, was banished back to the paddock to play with some wire wool. Even passing the noise test and you’re not out of the woods, as a Council trackside test meant that Rick Lloyd was later to be found with his wire wool bag also. Whilst some pilots were resplendent in new overalls of an unsoiled variety after scrutineering blues at Snetterton, others were still living life on the absolute limit. Notably Philip McKelvey, whose apparel’s zip gave way (steady, ladies) allowing, he reported afterwards, a nice cool breeze to percolate through. Your scribe imagines that this compares very favourably to the body-temperature breezes which seem to have the habit of percolating through the same regions approaching Paddock with decidedly dodgy brakes.
Peter Garland’s practice went smoothly, and Keith Ahlers’ relaxed attitude, sunning himself in a chair after qualifying confirmed his satisfaction at out-qualifying Mr Wurr. Matthew was recovering from a bad session and his engine was similarly recovering from logging 9000rpm when 3rd was found instead of 5th. Simon Orange was so pleased that his car was motoring so well and not breaking down at all, that he decided to end his session early. Sadly, his chosen parking spot was the gravel at Clearways.
The black and orange disc flag furiously waved caused no panics amongst the Morgan drivers who rather smugly remembered from Snett what it meant, and Chris Dady came in to reduce his fuel tank load rather than to continue to spread it liberally all over the track. Other relatively minor incidents included Stephen Wheatley’s inaugural spin (congratulations, and may you have many more), Grahame Walker’s fan belt going walkabout and your scribe’s brakes doing likewise. Analysis of the qualifying times boded well for the race. The class A boys were clearly set for a tussle and the six established class B and C boys were all within one second of each other. Further down the grid, there were also some other interesting groupings. Despite an intervening shower or two, the race was dry, and happily included a quietened Jeremy Holden who qualified out of session and thus miles from anywhere.
The green lights went on, the handbrakes went off, and the race was under way. Garland shot off and Matthew got a good one. Peter led into Druids but Matthew took him at Graham Hill bend. For the rest of the race, Peter and Matthew generally had a ball, swapping places through good moves and bad. Towards the end, with Peter in front, Matthew’s gear selection problems caused him to fall back slightly and into the clutches of the hard-charging Keith who finished less than half a second behind. Matthew took the fastest lap. Rick Lloyd kept station in fourth position throughout watching the antics in front of him, but the chance to nip through never materialised. So a good win for Garland.
James Paterson outpowered Chris Acklam at the start and your scribe, after suffering too much wheel spin at the start, managed to block Chris out at Druids. Rob Wells lurked behind. These participants then went on to excite the spectators and occasionally themselves as firstly Rob took Chris at Paddock and then was retaken a lap or two later at Graham Hill. Lap 8 saw your scribe go wide at Druids and Chris went through, relieved that your faithful scribbler’s understeer was too severe to allow Chris to be rudely chopped off as had happened three or four times before. More chopping took place before Rob late braked his way up the inside of Paddock past your scribe, who was quite delighted to see him go consequentially wide enabling the position to be retaken in the drag up to Druids. Eventually, the Yellow Peril shot out of Clearways for the final time to nose in front of your hapless hack at the flag. In front, Paterson was harried by Acklam who eventually took him at Paddock and then gradually out-powered and -braked James to the flag.
Jack Bellinger had temporary delusions of grandeur as he sped past Simon O-G off the starting line but sanity was shortly restored thereafter and both then had a lonely race.
Readers may be idly wondering at this stage about the progress of Grahame Walker. But not Andy Green, who was busy congratulating himself not only on reaching the grid but also for getting off it, albeit rather gently. But, getting to grips with this motor racing business, he saw a gap on the inside of Paddock as everyone else took a wide line and, as one might say, went for it. It was at this point that Andy’s thoughts began to parallel those of readers, although perhaps prefaced with an expletive, as Andy wondered how Grahame Walker had not progressed any further than the inside of Paddock where he appeared (and in fact was) quite stationary due to an AWOL gearbox and, moreover, was occupying the very spot Andy was heading for rather too rapidly for his liking. Happily, Grahame’s car remained stationary as Andy just avoided him and ultimately finished with a creditable fastest lap time two seconds quicker then his qualifying time.
John Clarke found himself again with too few revs off the line as everyone shot past him. He managed to retake Messrs Dady and Sebba before coming up to Mary driving her very wide-bodied Moss Box. John had a long dice with Mary and reported after the race that he had been annoyed that she did not wave him past in a ladylike manner (tee-hee). Instead, he eventually bundled her out of the way on lap 10. Lap 10 was a bad lap for Mary who also lost a place to Jeremy Holden as he tried to make up for his 10 second start penalty. He was only one-tenth off John Clarke at the line to finish 18th.
Stephen Wheatley in his 4/4 had a race-long duel with Ian Hepburn’s Plus 8 and had him done up like a kipper into Clearways for the last time, but yellow flags prevented this coup as David James spun in front of them. To rub the salt in, David regained the track and finished in front of them both.
Fastest times of note were class C operator James Patterson’s being better than that of Chris’ class B car [Ed: and bettering Chris’ old lap record too] and Alan Wickenden’s new lap record for a class E car.
But the drama wasn’t finished as Peter Garland’s car had a liquid dump in the paddock after the race, leaving him stranded. Sadly, the best the logistics experts came up with was for Simon and Mandy to take his car in their lorry to Heart of England and for Peter to drive Simon’s car home. Now, maybe your scribe is a wus [Ed: hmm] or just naturally cautious but (with all due respect) Simon’s car is not one which would be at the top of my list to undertake this drive to Malvern. In fact, it would be at the bottom. On driving home, our intrepid Winner came across an accident and overheated the engine. Pulled in. He came across the world’s worst flash thunderstorm. He pressed on trusting Simon’s semi-slicks to do the business. And then his gearbox packed up. All in a car with no number plates, windscreen or road fund licence, and painted bright “nab me quick” orange. Your scribe now understands on this conclusive evidence the inverse relationship required between brains and balls required to be a class A driver. Probably saved a nappy change or two, though, so every cloud..... Phew.
That was it. Terrific cars, terrific racing, terrific spirit. Next stop, Mallory. Did I see racing decals on that Aero 8?