GENT DOES A QUADRU­PLE IN SUBARU

Dale Gent was undis­puted man of the meet­ing at BARC’S busy 22-race Indy cir­cuit club­bie, net­ting four out­right wins in his ul­tra-po­tent Subaru Im­preza.

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

On his first out­ing of the week­end Gent’s wet-shod car trounced Rod Bir­ley’s Es­cort (slicks) and the rest of a mod­est Seve­nesque/allcomers field on a damp but dry­ing track.

Gent won de­spite a black and orange flag stop to in­ves­ti­gate some­thing flap­ping at the back of the car. This proved to be the flex­i­ble tow­ing strap. He won again in the dry, and although Bir­ley pit­ted when his power steer­ing drive belt slipped off, he re­turned with­out power as­sis­tance to man­han­dle the car to a class win. Colin Wat­son was best of the Sev­ens, tak­ing third and sec­ond places over­all.

The Subaru driver’s third win came in the first Clas­sic Thun­der sa­loon race. Vaughan Fletcher’s Im­preza was the clos­est chal­lenger, but lost sec­ond to Dave Cock­ell (Es­cort) in the last few yards af­ter the Subaru fell sick. Sun­day’s race brought Berkham­sted driver Gent an easy win num­ber four, with Bir­ley’s late en­try Es­cort tak­ing a nar­row sec­ond from Cock­ell af­ter start­ing down the grid.

Thirteen classes were up for grabs in two races com­bin­ing sep­a­rate series for ori­en­tal, Ger­man and French ma­chin­ery. Ner­i­jus Zabotka headed the Nip­pon Chal­lenge sec­tion by twice win­ning over­all in his Im­preza. He was helped by Barn­aby Davies (Toy­ota Star­let) re­tir­ing from the lead in race one. Quick­est qual­i­fier James Jan­icki (Nis­san Sky­line) missed race one, but moved care­fully through packed traf­fic from 34th to fifth at the sec­ond at­tempt. Phil Col­lard (Mazda RX7) was a dou­ble run­ner-up, tak­ing ad­van­tage of traf­fic to de­pose Jon Whe­lan (Peu­geot 306) on the last lap of race two.

Stephen Primett (Es­cort) raised his score to 10 wins out of 10 in the Pre-66/ Pre-83 Tour­ing Car races, although Satur­day’s suc­cess was his first at Brands. David Howard (Jaguar XJ12) re­tired with a flat tyre af­ter lead­ing race one. Howard split the Es­corts on Sun­day un­til a slide at the last cor­ner al­lowed Stephen Cripps to grab the place back on the line.

The first Pre-93 Tour­ing Car race de­scended into chaos as a por­tion of the field fol­lowed slowly in con­fu­sion as res­cue ve­hi­cles drove from the pits to at­tend a shunt on Cooper Straight while the rest of the track re­mained open to un­re­stricted rac­ing. The safety car was not de­ployed. Ray West’s BMW was a com­fort­able win­ner over Mark Fowler’s sim­i­lar M3, and the duo re­peated this re­sult in calmer cir­cum­stances on Sun­day. Reece Jones and Terry Davies each scored a third place fin­ish.

David Chap­man es­caped from the Mazda Max5 pack early in race one. He clung on to win un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure from in­vi­ta­tion class drivers Jonathan Hal­li­well and Paul Rod­di­son, whose Mk4 ma­chines did not score points and started at the back. Rod­di­son won (from the front this time) in race two, but the points-scor­ing vic­tor was Chap­man again, un­der pres­sure from Nick Dunn. Hal­li­well fin­ished fourth from a pit road start.

Tak­ing full ad­van­tage of some wild first cor­ner an­tics on Satur­day, Danny Cas­sar (Honda In­te­gra) leapfrogged from sev­enth to first in the Pre-2003 Tour­ing Cars race. Cas­sar yielded to the in­evitable when things set­tled down, and fin­ished fifth while Andy Thomp­son’s SEAT cruised ahead. Thomp­son could af­ford an­other slow­ish start in race two and soon took the lead.

Vince Pain rolled his MG ZR in qual­i­fy­ing for the MGOC round, but the now win­dow­less car charged to a fine third in a hard-fought first en­counter. The ZRS of Adrian Wray and David Mel­lor went off to­gether at Pad­dock and just missed em­u­lat­ing Pain’s qual­i­fy­ing fate. Martin Wills won in his F model and re­peated the feat in a four-way blan­ket fin­ish on Sun­day, Wray, Brian But­ler and Adam Jackson giv­ing him a hard time. Pain’s al­ready crum­pled car col­lected the spin­ning F of Stu­art Plot­nek in front of the pits, and the lead­ers were greeted by a bunch of cars off at the foot of Pad­dock on their fi­nal lap.

Chris White­man (Civic) was a com­fort­able dou­ble win­ner in the South East­ern Cen­tre Tin Tops while po­ten­tial ri­val Rod Bir­ley (In­te­gra) con­tin­ues to ex­pe­ri­ence re­li­a­bil­ity is­sues. Daniel Fisher’s Civic was run­ner-up in both races.

Nathan Har­ri­son nar­rowly missed a win­ning dou­ble in the MR2 rac­ing series. He held off Adam Lock­wood, Neale Hur­ran and Peter Hig­ton in race one but lost out to a last cor­ner lunge by Hur­ran in race two af­ter Lock­wood had an ad­ven­ture while con­test­ing the lead.

Only Lewis Smith could keep de­fend­ing cham­pion Mal­colm Black­man in sight in the In­ter­mar­que races, and even he could have done with some binoc­u­lars. Smith briefly led in the re­versed grid sec­ond race, but Black­man was in front again on lap five.

Gent (l) took four wins dur­ing Brands week­end

MGOC race got messy for Pain (88) and Plot­nek (5)

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