RAC­ING TRACK TORQUE TRI­UMPH IN FUN CUP THRILLER

BRANDS HATCH: BRSCC BY PETER SCHERER

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - Pho­tos: Gary Hawkins

The open­ing round of this year’s Fun Cup Cham­pi­onship was more of a four-hour sprint than an en­durance race.

Henry Dawes and Chris Hart’s Track Torque/2 Rent Domi­noes car got the ver­dict, by only 0.187 sec­onds from Eco Rac­ing’s Paul Abraham, Tom Mills and Paul Turner, af­ter both had been chas­ing An­thony Reid’s PW Rac­ing car. But with seven min­utes to go Reid was given a stop-go penalty for go­ing over his per­mit­ted driv­ing time.

It was the clos­ing min­utes where the real drama started. Eco Rac­ing led, while Zoe Wen­ham’s Apollo Motorsport car was reeled in, los­ing out to JPR Uvio’s Gra­ham Roberts, Reid and Hart.

Turner’s de­fence cracked and all three got by be­fore the fi­nal pit­stop win­dow. Reid had piled the pres­sure on Roberts but he held out, and as Far­quini Deott (in for Roberts) took over the lead car he held off Reid’s chal­lenges too un­til they ex­ited Pad­dock on the 196th lap.

Dawes and Abra­hams de­moted the for­mer leader too and closed in on Reid, be­fore a late safety car in­ter­ven­tion. But as the green flag was fly­ing Reid re­ceived his stop-go penalty, which left Dawes to suc­cess­fully de­fend the lead from Abraham for the fi­nal seven min­utes. Guy Wen­ham was third for Apollo, with JPR Uvio, Team Honey­well and Lane Roof­ing com­plet­ing the top six.

All four Cater­ham Su­pers­port races fea­tured lead du­els from lights to flag. Henry Heaton and Chris­tian Szaruta swapped and changed for much of race one, while Philip Jenk­ins did his best to split them. Heaton grad­u­ally edged clear af­ter re­gain­ing the lead into Pad­dock on the 17th lap, leav­ing Szaruta to keep Jenk­ins at bay for sec­ond.

Jack Brown led a three-car break in the sec­ond race, from Chris Hutchinson and Richard Ain­scough. The fight for sec­ond al­lowed Brown to get clear, leav­ing his ri­vals to share a num­ber of ex­changes be­fore Hutchinson claimed sec­ond. Ain­scough was ex­cluded from third for run­ning with­out a hood stick, which handed the fi­nal podium place to Max Mcdon­agh.

Brown and Heaton were paired to­gether for race three and spent most of it just inches apart. Both had a share of the lead and still man­aged to break clear of an eight-car battle for third.

Brown held sway for the last 12 laps but still couldn’t shake off Heaton. Ain­scough stormed through from the back of the grid to secure third, with Mcdon­agh left to head home the huge train for fourth.

Af­ter set­ting the early pace in race four, Szaruta was hauled in by the chas­ing pack. De­spite los­ing his ad­van­tage to Wil­liam Smith, he re­gained it a few laps later, only for a penul­ti­mate lap er­ror at Pad­dock to hand Smith the win. Szaruta just held onto sec­ond from Mike Evans, An­drew West and Chris Hutchinson, who al­most dead-heated for third. Daniel Quin­tero and Rui Fer­reira had one win apiece in Cater­ham Road­sport. Russ Oli­vant had led from Clear­ways on the open­ing lap of race one, but Quin­tero had just made it into sec­ond when the safety car came out. He hit the front for the last six laps, with Oli­vant in his wheel­tracks at the flag, as David Bevan, Rob Watts and Fer­reira fin­ished nose-to-tail for third.

In race two, Fer­reira pur­sued the du­elling Oli­vant and Quin­tero. He split the pair on lap nine and had just nosed into the lead as the safety car ap­peared. They stayed wheel-to-wheel for the re­main­ing dis­tance, while Oli­vant looked on from third.

Both Cater­ham Track­sport races fea­tured race-long bat­tles be­tween An­thony Barnes and Alis­tair Calvert. In the first, Barnes held on to lead through­out, con­sol­i­dat­ing his ad­van­tage in the fi­nal laps as Damian Milkins took a dis­tant third.

Calvert had his share of the lead in race two and led the fi­nal lap be­fore los­ing out in the sprint to the line as Barnes took win num­ber two. Joe Draper broke away from a huge scrap to secure third from Daniel Brem­ner.

Stephen Dailly led most of the first BMW Com­pact race, but af­ter run­ning side-by-side from Sur­tees to Pad­dock on the 12th lap, Richard Mor­ris made the de­ci­sive move, head­ing Dailly and De­clan Mcdon­nell to the flag.

Mcdon­nell headed the sec­ond race from the open­ing lap, with Ian Jones and Joe Wig­gin com­plet­ing the podium af­ter Ben Pear­son slowed. Dailly fi­nally got a win in race three, from Miles and ex-gt racer James Gor­nall.

Steve Jones’ Mini Cooper S led for the en­tirety of the HRDC Academy/ A-se­ries Chal­lenge. Mike Koskela was clos­ing to­wards the end, af­ter re­tak­ing Ju­lian Cross­ley, but he hit a back­marker on the last lap and fell back to third and was later ex­cluded.

It was lights-to-flag win for Steve Jones’ Cooper MKXII in the Stu­art Lewis-evans Tro­phy 500cc F3 race. Xavier Kings­land was sec­ond, with Dar­rell Woods pick­ing up the fi­nal podium place af­ter An­drew Turner bar­rel rolled at Pad­dock and brought out the red flags.

Gavin Wat­son’s Alfa Romeo won the HRDC Tour­ing Greats, well clear of the Nai­smiths’ Austin West­min­ster.

Four-hour en­duro turned out to be a flat-out thrash HRDC grid bol­stered by Academy en­tries

Dawes/hart took vic­tory

Brown beat Heaton home in Su­pers­port

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