Race Reports For The 2002 Season.
Brands Hatch Indy, Sunday September 22nd, 17 Laps
Dan Eagling is champion with two rounds to spare.
After hardly putting a foot wrong all season, Dan Eagling romped home to win the ninth round and clinch the championship in some style. With eight wins from nine starts and only a mechanical failure preventing a clean sweep, Dan has looked unbeatable since the first round and we were delighted to welcome our new champion back into the paddock on Sunday afternoon.
It was appropriate that we should settle our championship as guests of the MG Car Club who graciously allowed us to run in their racing weekend at Brands Hatch. The event provided two additional opportunities for our members to race and an extra warm-up practice between qualifying and our scheduled event. This format was warmly welcome and many of our number expressed the hope that we could return to a similar weekend next year.
In qualifying Jim Lindley, supported by a crowd of Kentish supporters, pushed Dan hard to finish on the front row less than a tenth of a second from pole followed by Peter Clark, Guy Woodwood, John Palmer (on a rare and welcome K Sports outing) and Pete Richings.
Jamie Champkin began his weekend of bad luck by taking his splitter off on the kerb at Graham Hill bend and finished the session in the gravel. Tony Pouyanne proved that there is a limit to how much a Phantom can be lightened by collapsing his new wishbones at the bottom of Paddock Hill and retiring in a shower of sparks. Ian Crombie struggled with a recurring overheating problem but managed to secure a creditable 13th place and Brendan Herd pulled up with a broken clutch actuator rod. Brendan returned home to Twickenham overnight to replace the rod and, in true clubmans style used a bolt from the roof rack of his car to complete the repair. Marcus Bicknell incurred the wrath of the Clerk of the Course by missing a black flag after one of his famous five noses collapsed. He ended the day with a ten second penalty and a start at the rear of the grid. Stefan Mumm buzzed his newly fitted engine by missing a gear out of Clearways and left Paul Freeman to burn the midnight oil replacing bent valves.
27 cars lined up for the start of round nine and Dan Eagling just pipped Jim Lindley to the inside line at Paddock Hill Bend to take a lead that was unchallenged from then on. Lindley maintained second with Clark in close pursuit as a really superb battle followed between Guy Woodwood, Pete Richings, John Kelly, Mike Luck and Chris Hart. At the start of lap 10, Richings squeezed inside Woodward at Paddock leaving all of 10mm between the two cars and then more excitement at Druids with Luck, Hart, and Neil Bevan three abreast into the corner. On the following lap Stefan Mumm joined the party and all four converged on Druids within inches of each of other. Positions were maintained until lap 13 when, at Paddock, Chris Hart rounded the Dart and Mike Luck reluctantly conceded the 6th spot. Further down the order Nick Bailey headed a slowing John Palmer, followed by Dave Madgwick who had sneaked ahead of his archrival Arf Dickens at Druids early in the race. Ian Crombie held off Adrian Lester to finish in 15th and Marcus Bicknell fought his way up to 17th from his penalised start. Tony Pouyanne limped home with bent rear suspension after a coming together with Paul Freeman who was forced to retire. Brian Jordan, Ian Mitchell and Pete Burnham took the next three places followed by Brendan Herd (with roof rack accessories), Chris Karn and Glenn Cantello. Jamie Champkin and Chris Burnham both retired on lap 12 with undiagnosed engine problems.
In addition to this highly entertaining round of our championship the Clubmans cause was well served by a superb win by Jim Lindley in the endurance race and a win by Russ Leaviss, in his very first motor race, in his Vauxhall powered Mallock 30 followed in second place by Pete and Chris Burnham. Stefan Mumm was leading in this race but misinterpreted the pitting rules and finished 9th. Regulations in Swedish next time please!
Wow! What a great weekend, let‘s have some more like that please.