BARC battles changeable conditions at breathtaking Brands Hatch meeting

The British Automobile Racing Club battled changeable conditions to serve up a spectacular two days of track action this past weekend (May 11/12) at Brands Hatch, with a host of championships taking centre stage.

Marking the latest visit to the Kent venue by the Club, the Indy circuit saw treacherous rain and bright sunshine play its part over the course of both days, further spicing up the on-track action.

Following two events at Silverstone, the a bumper entry list in the Dunlop Endurance Championship produced two pulsating one-hour races. SB Race Engineering emerged as the team to beat during Saturday with the Ferrari 488 Challenge duo of Paul Bailey and Andy Schultz triumphing on both occasions.

Bailey and Schultz got the best of the conditions in race one to triumph more than half a minute ahead of Paul Rose, who ended the race as their nearest challengers. With the weather taking a turn for the better later in the day, the Ferrari pairing produced a similar level of dominance in race two.

Hitting the front early on, the duo made their escape out front and were ultimately never challenged, ultimately crossing the line by more than 40 seconds ahead of Lee Frost in his Ginetta G55.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series returned to action in style with three exciting races playing out around the 1.2 mile layout. Showcasing two generations of Clio machinery, the one-make category had those in attendance on the edge of their seats.

Simon Freeman, James Colburn and Nic Harrison claimed individual honours in their respective classes in the opening race before the trio did the same later in the day.

Amalgamating with the BARC Tin Tops Championship, the final race of the day – which wasn’t eligible for championship points – saw Tyler Lidsey end the weekend on the top step of the podium.

Garrie Whittaker continued to reign supreme in the Kumho BMW Championship as he extended his advantage at the summit of the multi-class standings. Having been the man to beat at both Oulton Park and Castle Combe, the E36 M3 driver showed no signs of letting up as adding to his silverware collection.

Lapping up to sixth place, Whittaker was unstoppable in race one as he scored his fifth win of the year, and he dually added to his tally later in the afternoon with another imperious drive. Whittaker then extended his winning streak with another dominant performance later in the day, scoring victory once more.

The Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship boasted a bumper 24-car grid and it too provided unmissable track action. Race one ended in dramatic fashion as leader Lee Sullivan saw his hopes of triumphing diminish following an engine failure, gifting William Sharpe and his MG ZR victory.

Simon Kendrick was the man to beat in the MGOC’s second race as he got the better of Steve Darbey and Mark Baker in his MG F VVC.

In the BARC Tin Tops Championship, Chris Whiteman and Terry Stephens claimed outright honours to top the rostrum.

Capping off the weekend’s action were several demonstration sessions from the SmarTrack Series Elite contingent. Two Jaguar Project 8 cars took to the circuit to give fans and potential competitors a flavour of what is come to from the series over the course of the forthcoming year.

For the full classification of results from all sessions at Brands Hatch, click here.

BARC heads back to Brands Hatch for latest two-day event

Brands Hatch will welcome back the British Automobile Racing Club to Kent this weekend (May 11/12) with six championship readying themselves for another pivotal event on their 2019 calendars respectively.

In what is the latest visit to the Indy circuit for the BARC, the two-day event is the latest chapter in what is proving to be another vintage of motorsport for the Club and its championships.

Topping the bill will be a pair of one-hour races from the Dunlop Endurance Championship. With two events at Silverstone in the books already for Britcar’s premier series, the 1.2 mile Brands Hatch layout will welcome an awe-inspiring line-up of illustrious supercars, all of which will be set to go wheel-to-wheel.

Ferrari 488 Challenge’s lockout the top two spots in the standings and they could well be the car to beat. Tim Gray’s Praga R1T will also be one to watch having been a force to be reckoned with already whilst several other car and driver combinations will be eyeing success.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series is back in action for the second time this year and all signs point to another pulsating event. Three races will be run across both days and both the third and fourth generation Clio will be

Ronan Pearson, James Colburn, Nic Harrison and Simon Freeman were just a few of the stars at the curtain-raiser and they will all, along with several others, be keen to mix it at the front of their respective classes.

It has been a lengthy wait for the second Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship meeting, having initially kicked off their season at Oulton Park in March. With some of the most iconic MG machinery from all eras battling it out for supremacy, the championship is not to be missed.

Notable names to keep an eye on across both days include multiple champion Jim Baynam, Stuart Plotnek, Fergus Campbell and Steve Darbey.

The Kumho BMW Championship has starred at Oulton Park and Castle Combe so far and that theme will likely continue this weekend. Pitting some of the best models from the German manufacturer against each other, the production-based series continues to be a smash-hit.

Garrie Whittacker has emerged as the man to beat so far however the likes of Lucky Khera, James Card and Trevor Ford are amongst several leading contenders out to halt his momentum.

Showcasing some of the best saloon cars competing today, the BARC Tin Tops Championship will be back in action at Brands Hatch for the second time this year. Having produced a mesmerising pair of races last month, another variety-filled grid is set to line up and duke it out for supremacy.

Capping off the weekend’s action will be several demonstration runs from the all-new SmarTrack Series Elite. Designed to appeal to both amateurs and more experienced racers aged 40 and above, the brand new series will hit the track with two Jaguar Project 8 cars.

Giving drivers the opportunity to fettle their cars as well as give the public its first taste of the category, Series Elite will hit the track on four occasions over the course of the weekend for further mileage to be clocked.

To find out more information, including a timetable and links to live timing, click here.

BARC delivers scorching Brands Hatch bank holiday blockbuster

The British Automobile Racing Club put on an Easter extravaganza at Brands Hatch this past weekend (April 20/21/22) as eight championships basked in the bank holiday sun to produce three days of unmissable action.

Topping the bill were eight dramatic race, four for Division 1 and four for Division 2, from the MV Commercial BTRA Championship. Kicking off another season of edge-of-the-seat entertainment, the heavyweight behemoths served up a string of spellbinding performances. 

In Division 1, reigning champion Ryan Smith began the defence of his title in style as he picked up a pair of victories whilst Stuart Oliver and David Jenkins also triumphed.

There was a similar theme in Division 2 as well with reigning champion Luke Garrett making an equally flying start as he too picked up a pair of wins. Eric Forsstrom and Steve Powell left the Kent circuit with a win apiece as well whilst Paul Rivett made his mark by scoring a hat-trick of podium finishes.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2019, the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres was back and better than ever. Renowned for close-quarter racing, the 5/8 scale championship wowed crowds from start-to-finish with a host of photo finishes.

Connor Mills prevailed as the most successful driver around the 1.2 mile circuit as he bagged three wins whilst the trio of Sy Harraway, Jack Parker and James Hall-Morton, upon which was his maiden victory in the series, shared the remaining spoils.

The Pickup Truck Racing Championship is set to be wide open this year with five different drivers filling the podium across the weekend’s two races. With the void of double champion Scott Bourne needing to be filled, Michael Smith came to the fore in the curtain-raiser to beat George Turiccki and David O’Regan.

O’Regan would move up the order in the second race as he produced a scintillating performance to score victory ahead of Dale Gent and Paul Jones.

Malcolm Blackman wrote his name into the history books as the first winner in the BARC Super Silhouette Championship, which is now being run by SHP Promotions. A stalwart of the spaceframe formula, Blackman delivered a stunning lap in qualifying to bag pole position and then backed it up with victory in race one.

The former champion made it two from two later in the day but was made to work for it as he came under extreme pressure from Chris Brockhurst in the closing laps.

Wayne Rockett was at his brilliant best as a new season of the Carbon 8 Hyundai Coupe Cup got underway, notching two commanding race wins as Alex Cursley, Kevin Smiles and Nick Moore all rounded out the rostrum across the two respective races.

Saturday saw a Classic Touring Car Championship takeover with several races from its multiple classes. Mike Luck and Stephen Primett were the victors in the Pre ’83 Touring Car Championship whilst Richard Wood dominated the combined Classic Thunder & Blue Oval encounters.

Jonathan Lewis emerged as the driver to beat in the Pre ’66 Touring Car Championship, winning both races, as the amalgamated Pre ’93, Pre ’03 & Pre ’05 spoils fell the way of Don Hughes and AJ Owen.

The BARC Clubmans Sports Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns saw Clive Wood kick off his campaign on the right as he stormed to a trio of pole positions, and then backed it up with a pair of race wins.

Dominating proceeding’s in races one and two, Wood had looked to be a sure bet to complete a clean sweep in race three however a mechanical issue when trying to leave the pit lane put an end to that dream before the race had even begun. Taking advantage of a vacant pole position spot, Peter Richings brought the curtain down on the weekend with victory.

Capping off the bank holiday weekend’s racing at the Kent circuit was a pair of races from the BARC Tin Tops Championship. Guest driver Steve Rothery piloted his Peugeot 308 to the top of the time-sheets in qualifying and then onto victory twice later on Saturday afternoon.

For the full classification of results from all sessions, click here.

BARC revved up for Easter extravaganza at Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch is set to play host to a blockbuster Easter extravaganza this weekend (April 20/21/22) as the British Automobile Racing Club descends on the Kent circuit with eight championships for three days of door-to-door action.

A traditional fixture on the motorsport calendar for both the Club and the circuit, the Easter race weekend has provided plenty of memorable moments down the years and 2019 is likely to be no different.

Headlining the action with eight races will be the MV Commercial BTRA Championship, which roars back into life for another year. Weighing in at more than five tonnes and producing in excess of 1000bhp, the championship is a favourite among many and boasts a bumper entry list in both Division 1 & 2.

Three-time champion Ryan Smith will be the man to beat in Division 1 as he bids to write his name into the history books whilst both former champions David Jenkins and Stuart Oliver will be keen to halt the MAN juggernaut and get the jump on him early in the year.

Division 2 will see Luke Garrett begin the defence of his title however he faces a stern test from a raft of contenders including Brad Smith, Steven Powell, Simon Cole and Paul Rivett, who has made the switch from the Renault UK Clio Cup to Truck Racing full-time.

At the other end of the scale in terms of size competing at Brands Hatch is the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres. Marking the start of a milestone year for the category as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary, the 5/8 scale machines are set to wow crowds with a host of races, and a big grid all aiming to topple reigning champion John Mickel.

The Pickup Truck Racing Championship will crown a new champion this year with two-time victor Scott Bourne not returning for 2019, and judging by the entry list it is set to be as wide open as ever. A blend of experienced and fresh-faced racers will line up on the grid for the opening event of the year with it all to play for.

Rebranded and running under the SHP Promotions banner, the BARC Super Silhouette Championship will kick off a new era at Brands Hatch. Formerly known as Intermarques, the space-frame machines are set to ensure pulses are racing as a strong entry list dukes it out for honours in the opening event of the season.

Those wanting to take a trip down touring car memory lane will be well catered for as the Classic Touring Car Championship continues. Kicking off the season at Oulton Park in March, the championship once again has another awe-inspiring line-up of cars and drivers, all of whom will be keen to shine at this second meeting of the year.

Brands Hatch will mark the start of new seasons for the BARC Clubmans Sports Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns and the Carbon8 Hyundai Coupe Cup too. Both delighting fans wherever they went in 2018, the two categories are polar opposites from each other however one theme is set to relate them around the Indy circuit and that is that they will deliver non-stop entertainment.

Capping off the action will be further saloon car thrills from the BARC Tin Tops Championship, which is open to a diverse range of machines.

In total, a scheduled 33 races are set to take place over Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Brands Hatch making it an event that is not to be missed. To find out more information on the event as a whole, click here.

BARC championships battle contrasting conditions at Brands Hatch

Contrasting conditions welcomed the British Automobile Racing Club to Brands Hatch this past weekend (May 12/13) as a host of championships continued their 2018 campaigns around the Indy layout.

Persistent rain on Saturday was swapped for bright sunshine on Sunday at the Kent venue, adding further spice to what already was proving to be a memorable event.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series had a distinctly familiar feel to it as reigning champion Ben Palmer further asserted his dominance at the top of the standings. Entering the weekend with an unbeaten record, Palmer clinched his fifth and sixth wins of the season, extending his points lead in the process.

In the race class, Nic Harrison’s run of wins came to an end, not before he could score a fifth victory of the season however. The defending champion romped to the chequered flag in race one but could do nothing to stop James Colburn in the second.

The Junior Saloon Car Championship produced its third double-winner of the season around the Indy circuit as Frankie Taylor vaulted himself into title contention. On what was a truncated weekend for the 14 to 17-year-old’s, Taylor held his nerve in two tense but entertaining encounters to score victory.

Podium finishes went the way of Lewis Saunders, Scott McIntyre and Steven Chandler too across both races.

Roaring into life for the first time this season, the BARC Clubmans Sport Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns delivered three nail-biting races. Steven Dickens won the opener before Mark Charteris picked up wins in races two and three.

In the 2CV Classic Racing Championship, Nick Crispin stormed to a brace of victories in two frenetic races that saw a host of twists and turns along the way.

The BARC South East Tin Tops Championship kicked off the weekend for the Club’s trio of South East Centre categories with Danny Brooker taking victory in race one. At the wheel of his Vauxhall Astra VXR, Brooker narrowly pipped Rikki Taylor whilst Robert Hosier was third. Race two honours went the way of Ford Fiesta driver Taylor.

Malcolm Blackman was in irresistible form once again in the BARC South East Scrapco Avon Intermarque Championship, taking his record to a perfect four wins from four races at Brands Hatch.

Spoils were shared in the BARC South East Quaife Modified Saloon Car Championship, with veteran racer Rod Birley winning the opener at the wheel of his Ford Escort WRC. Birley was unable to replicate his performance later in the day however as Malcolm Wise powered his Ford Escort Cosworth to the top step of the podium.

Rounding out the action was the BARC Saloon Series, Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge and the Classic VW Cup, all of which amalgamated their grids.

Brad Kaylor and Ken Lark took a win apiece in the Classic VW Cup, however a notable performer was Daniel Rose in race two, charging from ninth on the grid to the front within the first lap. Ben Rushworth was the final race winner of the weekend, sweeping to both victories at the wheel of his Honda Integra in the BARC Saloon Series/VTEC Challenge races.