Richards in thick of things

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - -

Two rac­ing driv­ers lo­cal to Ly­d­den fought it out at the front in two thrilling rounds of the SEMSEC Saloon Cham­pi­onship at the cir­cuit on Satur­day.

Ash­ford en­gi­neer Bill Richards, who has a race prepa­ra­tion busi­ness on the Elling­ham Road in­dus­trial es­tate, qual­i­fied his light­weight, MetroDu­ratec spe­cial saloon on the sec­ond row but he soon surged past pole­sit­ter Paul Si­b­ley to take the lead.

Si­b­ley, who lives in Mil­ton Keynes, thrust his Lo­tus Elan along­side sev­eral times but Richards fought him off and held on to win by a length. Andy Ban­ham from Sellindge chased them home to fin­ish a strong third even though his Subaru Impreza is less pow­er­ful and was driven by him to and from the cir­cuit.

And Whit­stable’s Robert Knox fin­ished a fine fourth with his bright red Stiletto.

Richards might have made it a dou­ble suc­cess but to­wards the end of the sec­ond race, he ran out of grip so he had to give best to Si­b­ley.

He said: “I was run­ning on sec­ond-hand tyres and just ran out of rub­ber.”

This time Ban­ham was even closer and he al­most snatched sec­ond place from Richards.

Chris Mabey won both Sin­gle Seater events de­spite strong op­po­si­tion from Dave Con­nor.

Mark Bur­ton (Jade Track­star) notched up a hat-trick in the Sports Rac­ing events.

Mo­tor rac­ing re­turns to Ly­d­den this week­end as part of the an­nual Mini Fes­ti­val, which also in­cludes dis­plays and demon­stra­tions

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