There was lots of drama in the support races at the Brands Hatch round of British GT. MINI Challenge, Ginetta Racing Drivers Club, VAG Trophy and Pirtek Volkswagen Racing Cup entries battled the elements in some challenging, wet conditions on Saturday, while Sunday was not without several on track incidents also.
In the MINI Challenge Rob Smith took a straightforward win in Race One, despite a restart following a red flag period due to five cars spinning out early on. But the restart didn’t throw Smith who completed the task efficiently with Lawrence Davey in second place and Brett Smith taking third. It was a difficult race for Max Bladon who had to withdraw with drive shaft failure, the second time in two Brands Hatch rounds.
Race Two went the way of Brett Smith giving him his 4th victory of the season and a very clear lead in the Championship standings. Completing that podium was Lawrence Davey again in second place and Charlie Butler-Henderson in third. Race One winner Rob Smith had a less than perfect race after making contact with Butler-Henderson while trying to pass between him and Sarah Moore hitting the pit wall. Max Bladons woes continued with contact between him and George Wright, then a tyre blow out resulting in a pit stop, eventually finishing the race last in 21st place.
The VAG Trophy was also impacted by the weather, Race One seeing early on an incident between Kenan Dole and Simon Walton with Dole spinning and entering Druids backwards, correcting then hitting Walton. The safety car was deployed allowing Maximum Motorsports’ Brayden Flecther to move into second behind Paul Taylor. It wasn’t long before a second safety car period, when Tim Dockers Scirocco lost it and slid down Paddock into the gravel. Racing resumed but not for long before Richard Morgan span out shortly followed by Owen Walton doing the same, the race eventually finishing under the yellow flag with the win going to Paul Taylor, Stephen Johansen in second and Kyle Owen-Bradshaw in third.
Race Two saw Paul Taylors second win of the day.Kyle Owen-Bradshaw who started the race in 7th place due to the reverse grid, moved into third place when Callum Jenkins ran wide but finished after 5 laps with mechanical problems. Ben Wallace did an amazing charge from the back of the grid making his way into second place on the podium and Graham Ewing took third in his Passat.
The Milltek Volkswagen Racing Cup was not without incidents, in Race One Paul Ivens had a horrible roll in his Scirocco taking him out of the race in the 9th lap, the incident which also involved Tim Docker and Stephan Johansen brought the race to a halt, fortunately none of the drivers were hurt. When the race resumed it was Jamie Bond who took the win with Bobby Thompson in second and Simon Walton in third.
Race Two found Toby Davis who had started on the front row of the grid, retiring in the seventh lap while sitting third on track, due to his door flying open after an earlier tussle. A tight race ensued with a second separating winner Tom Witts from second place Kieran Gordon and Jamie Bond just a fraction of a second behind him in third.
As ever, the Ginetta Drivers Club and Ginetta Drivers Club + gave the crowds plenty of action over the weekend. Tom Sibley took his first win of the season in race one on Saturday, flanked by Bond To in second place and Tom Golding in third. Earlier in the race Sibley had contact with Golding which post race was found to be Sibleys fault, Sibley incurring a 10 place grid penalty for Sundays outing.
Tom Golding took the win in the second race on Sunday with Bond To again taking second place and this time Sibley in third. It was an eventful race for Graeme Bishopp with a spin off in the first lap, then a further spin later on causing the deployment of the Safety Car.
In Ginetta Drivers Club+ Michael Crees and Rob Keogh had a thrilling battle in Race One, Keogh passed Crees early on but Crees fought back eventually running nose to nose in the final lap, before Crees managed to just get ahead finishing the race less than a second between them. Race Two found Michael Crees and Rob Keogh again on the podium, this time Crees in second place and Keogh in third, with top of the podium going to Triple V Racings Phil Ingram.
The reverse grid Race Three found Rob Keogh taking the win with Phil Ingram this time in second and Want 2 Race’s Jack Oliphant in third. Richard Tetlow ran a brilliant race starting at the back of the grid in 22nd place fighting his way through to 4th.
The support package continues at the final round of the British GT Championship at Donington on September 23rd/24th.
Allison Remzi Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick