Brands Hatch – 11/12th November, Rounds 15 & 16

Toyo Tires/Watchdogapp.com Jaguar Saloon & GT Championship

21 Jaguars assembled at the natural amphitheatre of Brands Hatch in Kent for the final two rounds of the championship, surprisingly with all of the four individual classes & overall positions still up for grabs.

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Testing

Testing on Friday teased out a few problems with Stewart suffering braking issues, as in lack of & Tom Butterfield experiencing waning oil pressure, both thankfully cured in time for Saturday qualifying . Holt had a more serious problem, with rear hub failure suddenly resulting in a 25% decrease in wheels at the fast Clearways right-hander. This was resolved by Saturday morning with the assistance of Colin Philpott’s Powerbell company. The car restored to its full wheel complement, also allowing qualifying participation. Hub failures on outboard brake cars have resulted due to the prodigious grip of the Toyo tyres teamed with the increased power delivered to the wheels as the cars are driven to, and beyond, the limit.

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Qualifying

The track was extremely slippery due to the inclement weather & residual lubricant deposited by truck racing the previous weekend. Due to clutch problems, Simon Lewis only ran the mandatory three laps to ensure a grid position for the race. Tim Morrant’s XJ6 managed two laps before a high-pressure oil cooler hose disconnected, adding yet more jeopardy to the already challenging track. Excellent work by Tom Barclay Racing ensured he was able to race, not wasting his excellent seventh qualifying position. Due to the deteriorated track conditions, most drivers set their fastest times early in the session. Ramm headed Philpott by a huge 1.5 seconds to annexe pole, with Frost taking 3rd. Derek Pearce, finally getting the XK8 honed to his exacting requirements, achieved a strong fourth. Holt led Class A from Stewart & Kevin Dickins.

Derek Pearce Leads A Group Into Druids Cg
Rodney Frost Derek Pearce Rg
Powderham Ng
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Race 1

Although weather conditions appeared favourable, light was fading fast & the circuit remained a challenge due to fluids on the track surface, especially at the critical ‘turn in’ for the intimidating Paddock Hill Bend. A rolling start ensured plenty of action at the first corner entry as drivers jockeyed for position. Ramm led off the line to head Philpott, with Frost & Pearce challenging each other behind.

Butterfield survived a big moment at the bottom of Paddock but recovered well, only to stop on lap 3 , unusually with a fractured thermostat housing causing massive coolant loss.

Connew led Robinson until the 2nd Lap, when the XJR found a way past. Meanwhile, up ahead, Pearce was delivering his best race in recent history as his XK8, nearly got on terms with Frost. Robinson’s XJR & Connew’s XJ6 close behind. Meanwhile Lewis, who started from the back, fought his way from 20th to 9th, earning a well-earned ‘Drive of the Day’ award in the process. In the very slippery conditions, Simon Dunford & Kevin Dickins (amongst others) spun but recovered without any damage, save their egos, whilst Doyle had an almighty spin all down Paddock but continued. Dave Bye hit the same patch, sliding to end up inches from the edge of the track, immovable in the gravel trap. In such a vulnerable position, the officials had no safe choice but to stop the race with five minutes to go.

Meanwhile Holt had driven a surefooted race to take class A. Gail Hill & Sewell had a mighty battle whilst  Stewart experienced an electric hiccough in the middle of Clearways, throwing him into a spin. In probably the most difficult conditions we have seen all season, this penultimate race of the championship season certainly challenged the drivers.

Winner : James Ramm, Runner Up Colin Philpott,3rd Rodney Frost

Class A : Winner Michael Holt, Runner Up Kevin Dickins, 3rd Simon Blunt 

Class B : Winner Rodney Frost, Runner Up Tim Morrant, 3rd Chris Boon

Class C : Winner James Ramm, Runner Up Colin Philpott, 3rd Guy Connew.

Class D : Winner Derek Pearce, Runner Up Tom Robinson, 3rd Adam Powderham

Drive of the Day Simon Lewis

Group 1 Ng
Tom Robinson And Colin Philpott Cg
Tom Butterfield Ahead Of Simon Blunt Cg
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Race 2

Again, although conditions were officially recorded as dry & bright, there was a serious greasy patch near the pit wall where the sun and curative chemicals had not reached. Unfortunately, the relevant warning flags were not displayed until 4 minutes from the end of the race. Bye & Butterfield, having been non-finishers from race 1, were starting from the back of the grid & were expected to power through. As the rolling start commenced, Stewart, who was on the slippery section, lost adhesion & cannoned into the fast-starting Bye, before hitting the pit wall, bringing out the red flag to recover car & driver, who was thankfully unhurt. 

Meanwhile, Philpott had a big spin, hitting the barrier square on at the foot of Paddock. He was able to take the restart but fell back through the pack due to the resultant side damage, finishing fourth in Class. On the resumption of the race, Ramm galloped off into the gloom to win from a hard-charging Connew, who drove a fine race, earning ‘Drive of the Day’ award. In a reverse of his drive up the field in Saturdays race, Lewis couldn’t get any gears at Druids & fell from 9th to last place. 

Meanwhile Frost & Robinson mastered the conditions to finish 3rd & 4th and class winners. The Start/Finish straight slippery surface caught out Morrant, who hit the barrier on the outside of the circuit & retired. Pearce also had a mighty spin, but managed to avoid the barrier but dropped to 11th by the finish. Gail Hill, Chris Boon & Adam Powderham had a fine battle, with Boon finally passing the other two. In a rerun of race 1, the finishing order in Class A was identical. Unfortunately, as a result of the startline accident, the race duration was reduced to 10 minutes.

Results :

Winner : James Ramm, Runner Up Guy Connew, 3rd Rodney Frost

Class A : Winner Michael Holt, Runner Up Kevin Dickins, 3rd Simon Blunt

Class B : Winner Rodney Frost, Runner Up Tom Butterfield, 3rd Chris Boon 

Class C : Winner James Ramm, Runner Up Guy Connew, 3rd Dave Bye

Class D : Winner Tom Robinson, Runner Up Patrick Doyle, 3rd Adam Powderham

Drive of the Day Guy Connew

The end of the long 16 round season was very dramatic with class winners & championship winner being fought to the bitter end. These will be issued on completion of the verification process.

Race Results

Results for Class A

DriverQualifyingRace 1Race 2Total PointsCurrent Standing
Michael Holt3ptsDNF (2pts)1st (13pts)18pts156pts
Kevin Dickins1ptsDNF (1pts)2nd (11pts)13pts53pts
Simon Blunt0ptsDNF (1pts)3rd (10pts)11pts143pts
Simon Dunford0ptsDNF (1pts)4th (9pts)10pts102pts
Daniel Stewart2ptsDNF (1pts)DNF (2pts)5pts115pts

Results for Class B

DriverQualifyingRace 1Race 2Total PointsCurrent Standing
Rodney Frost3ptsDNF (1pts)1st (13pts)17pts172pts
Thomas Butterfield2ptsDNF (2pts)2nd (12pts)16pts70pts
Chris Boon0ptsDNF (1pts)3rd (10pts)11pts123pts
Gail Hill0ptsDNF (1pts)4th (9pts)10pts39pts
Dean Sewell0ptsDNF (1pts)5th (8pts)9pts91pts
Tim Morrant1ptsDNF (1pts)DNF (1pts)3pts15pts

Results for Class C

DriverQualifyingRace 1Race 2Total PointsCurrent Standing
James Ramm3ptsDNF (1pts)1st (14pts)18pts171pts
Colin Philpott2ptsDNF (2pts)4th (9pts)13pts166pts
David Bye1ptsDNF (1pts)3rd (10pts)12pts12pts
Guy Connew0ptsDNF (1pts)2nd (11pts)12pts93pts
Richard Coppock0ptsDNF (1pts)5th (8pts)9pts55pts
Simon Lewis0ptsDNF (1pts)6th (7pts)8pts37pts

Results for Class D

DriverQualifyingRace 1Race 2Total PointsCurrent Standing
Tom Robinson2ptsDNF (1pts)1st (14pts)17pts131pts
Derek Pearce3ptsDNF (2pts)4th (9pts)14pts91pts
Adam Powderham1ptsDNF (1pts)3rd (10pts)12pts144pts
Patrick Doyle0ptsDNF (1pts)2nd (11pts)12pts124pts

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