Cooper builds on maiden suc­cess with a fur­ther Bike­sports brace

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

Still on a high fol­low­ing his maiden cir­cuit racing wins at Oul­ton Park three weeks be­fore, Cheshire au­to­grass ace Phil Cooper added two more on his Brands Hatch de­but. But the 1340cc Rad­i­cal-suzuki PR6 pi­lot had to drive flat-out to pass Alan Hogg, whose light­ning starts in his sim­i­larly mo­ti­vated Spire GT3 wouldn’t have looked shabby at a drag race.

A de­tached pad­dleshift ac­tu­a­tor cur­tailed Cooper’s qual­i­fy­ing ef­forts, but as he watched ner­vously from pit­lane his pole time sur­vived, ri­val Phil Knibb 0.25s short in Track­times­o­lu­tions’ 1500cc Rad­i­cal SR3.

Three at­tempts were needed to get Sun­day’s first race away, Cooper hav­ing ini­tially driven a sec­ond warm-up lap to go from the back, but a stop­page cued a fresh start and his re­turn to the front. Again Hogg was quick­est into his stride, but Cooper ground the deficit down as the leader’s tyres went off, charg­ing ahead on lap 10.

The se­quel was a longer action re­play, for Hogg rock­eted into a two-sec­ond lead and, de­spite Cooper clos­ing re­lent­lessly, clung on grimly un­til lap 16 when a tiny slip while lap­ping two cars at Gra­ham Hill Bend saw Phil pounce. Hogg bounced back to fin­ish in Cooper’s slip­stream, a class lap record of 46.61s (93.30mph) some con­so­la­tion.

Bold on the brakes Will Brown (PR6) scored two fine thirds ahead of Adrian Rey­nard (SR3), who cap­i­talised on Knibb’s soft starts to wrest big-en­gined hon­ours. Some­time Ain­tree Racing Driv­ers’ School schol­ar­ship win­ner and For­mula Re­nault racer Knibb fin­ished in the 1979 FF2000 Euroseries cham­pion’s slip­stream.

Cooper’s Rad­i­cal even­tu­ally usurped Hogg for vic­tory

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