Brands Hatch Trophy Race
FISCAR Race 1 2013 Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
A long awaited second season for FISCAR is now underway with a rapid fire start for the first three events of the year taking place within 6 weeks. A smaller grid than anticipated turned out at Brands to complement the MGCC Iconic 50’s race, making a sensible grid size of 18 cars.
The walk around the paddock to find everyone was made easier by the generous sponsorship from Woolmer Classic Engineering who are providing a most welcome base with their posh truck and awning, and wait for it…. light refreshments available throughout the day. By which I mean Jammie Dodgers, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and all sorts of other biscuits that I never see at home, mopped up with tea, coffee and soft drinks. Brilliant guys and thank you!
Cars that have been fettled over the winter include Jon Abecassis’ Healey which he tells me has had all the US bits taken off, keen to see what difference it would make; Andy Shepherd was out in the ‘heavyweight’ AC Ace Bristol (the one with paint); John Hilbery’s Elite with lots of go-faster bits (either on driver or car, not sure which, but they work). New faces were most welcome including Steve Boultbee-Brooks in the beautiful DB3S; Christopher Mann in the lovely Alfa Romeo 6C and the ever cheerful Nigel Grice in his DB2/4 Mk2. Colin Youle joined in with the lonesome Jaguar on this occasion.
The scene was set for another great day. Qualifying lost the Alfa, not sure why, and FISCAR took 3 of the 4 top places on the grid. Brian Arculus was on pole, but much sweating in their camp as the camshaft drive had come loose and the baler twine and sticking plasters were being put to full use. Other fiddlers included Andy Shepherd changing onto Avon radials for the race, not happy with his 4th place on the grid. Jon Abbecassis joined Brian Arculus on the front row, and the FISCAR cars were fairly evenly spread out across the field.
Lights out and Jon A dropped back but Andy Shepherd had a great start taking the lead on Paddock Hill bend whilst Brian Arculus tuned into radio 4. Come the end of the lap however, normal service was resumed and Brian ‘got his eye in’ again to retake the lead, maybe it wasn’t Radio 4, and John Hilbery regained his 4th place from Jon A at Graham Hill bend.
The front pack of Brian, Andy, MGA (with B engine), and John Hilbery set apart from the rest but there was a series of small groups forming all the way down the grid. Notable swoppers were Colin Youle, Steve Boultree-Brooks, and an MGTF sports really testing one another. Nigel Grice was entertaining an MGA Coupe going well and clearly enjoying himself.
A safety car period from lap 9 slowed things down a bit. Please note everybody, the purpose of the safety car is to bunch up the cars so that the marshals can fix the problem with the best possible time window available. IT IS NOT DESIGNED FOR YOU TO HAVE A REST AND SLOW DOWN. Unfortunately, the field was strung out with far too many gaps and at least 2 laps were lost unnecessarily because of this. You must get close to whoever is in front and please don’t drop back, it ruins the re-start for anyone behind you, especially if they are lapping you!
Lecture over, and on the ‘restart’ normal service resumed at the front, but Jon A must have found a sugary biscuit down the side of his seat because he set off in pursuit of the MGA (B) and caught him, then setting his sights on John Hilbery’s Elite.
The order remained reasonably stable, Steve Boultbee-Brooks venturing into a spin con the exit of Druids, letting Colin Youle through albeit temporarily but these guys were having a great dice down the field with others from the MGCC Iconics, good racing! The grandstand at the top of Paddock Hill allows great viewing and the style of Brian Arculus’ Elite is in a class of its own, and the timesheets confirm that. In contrast however, “Elbows Shepherd” was working hard, very hard through there to stay on the black stuff, but doubtless enjoying himself immensely. That is after all why we do this isn’t it? Well done Andy.
The order changed little to the end of the race, but that does not detract from the effort put in and the fun extracted from the race. Brian’s Lotus took the customary win by some 5.6 secs, so Andy kept him honest, helped by the safety car, and John Hilbery drove a precision race that demonstrated great progress since last year in his Elite, he didn’t put one foot wrong that I could see. Jon Abecassis had caught up with him though, and finished 0.6s behind. Another 2-3 laps……..?
Steve Boultbee-Brooks clearly was getting the hang of Brands and did very well to come in 5th in FISCAR, harried by Colin Youle in the Jaguar. Nigel Grice rounded off the FISCAR entries with a solid drive and most importantly a good finish and an even better smile.
Driver of the Day was a tight decision between John Hilbery and Steve Boultbee-Brooks, the latter taking it by a whisker, well done Steve.
Full results can be seen at www.tsl-timing.com
Team Results as follows:
- Lotus Legends
- Feltham Fliers
- British Bulldogs
Grateful thanks to Pat Arculus for the super job through the lens, Thank You Pat!
We all wish Richard Bell the very best in a difficult time for his recovery and we all look forward to seeing you ‘out there’ Richard.