HSCC Superprix - Brands Hatch GP
12 July, 2015
JOINT HRS/FISCAR HISTORIC INTER-MARQUE
10 FISCAR entries joined the HRS cars for the 20 minute race on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. David Cottingham had to withdraw his AC Ace entry at the last moment and unfortunately, Christopher Scholey suffered mechanical gremlins with his XK120 during practice and also had to withdraw. Saturday had provided perfect racing weather but Sunday dawned grey with dampness in the air and although classed as dry the track proved to be on the slippery side and we had slight drizzle on and off all day. Robin Ellis qualified his Lotus Elite at the head of our group and a splendid 8th overall in this field of 36 cars. In 9th overall was Neil Hardy who we had not seen out for a long time, but clearly had not lost any of his pace in the Austin Healey 100M. 3rd of the FISCAR qualifiers was Mike Freeman and 10th overall in his Lotus Elite. Further back on the grid was Austin Healey Team captain Nigel Grice followed by Brian Arculus in his Alfa Romeo Guilia SVZ, Geoff Ottley, out for the first time in while with his lovely XK120, Paul Ziller, first time out with us in his rebuilt Triumph TR2 complete with hard top and looking fantastic and finally Barry Dye still learning his way with his Lotus Elite. Given the make up of this field it did not make sense to run a team challenge and it was decided to give awards to the first 3 FISCAR cars to finish although from qualifying it was clear barring misfortune which three that would be, only their order being in doubt.
Short but not so sweet, the race started almost on time with Neil Hardy making the best of the FISCAR starts and getting several places ahead of Robin Ellis. This was the situation as they ended lap 2 with Neil as high as 7th overall, Robin 10th and Mike Freeman 12th. Then it all went pear shaped. None of our cars were involved but on lap 3 as a result of a major oil trail deposited all the way through Paddock Hill Bend of all places, a number of cars went off and the race was redflagged. The loss of time to remove the cars but even more so to treat the oil led to a decision to start the race over just 3 laps, with the cars lined up on the grid in the positions they had completed the second lap. The restart was without a green flag lap and Mike Freeman could not fire up his Elite and was pushed to the side of the circuit. Unfortunately, when the lights went out, one of the cars toward the back of the grid was rear ended leaving a couple of cars stranded on the startline and a couple more with nowhere to go. The Clerk of the Course had had enough by then and with time running out took the decision to terminate the race with results based on the positions at the end of lap 2. This was particularly unfortunate for Robin Ellis as he had caught and passed Neil on lap 3 before the race was stopped. In presenting the winning award to Neil, I did suggest to both that the Austin Healey may have repassed the Elite had the race run its full course - tongue firmly in cheek, of course. Also rather ironically, Mike Freeman received the 3rd place award despite being stopped on the side of the circuit. It was that kind of day! Siuch a shame as outings on the GP circuit are rare. Thanks are due as always to Woolmer Classic Restorations for their excellent hospitality facilities. A few more photos to follow:-