Richards in thick of things
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