The CSCC Special Saloons + Modsports series
BRANDS HATCH - JUNE 5th 2016
The CSCC Special Saloons + Modsport series goes from strength to strength with both a healthy field of varied and wonderful cars and in race 2 maybe the best race the series has ever seen so far.
24 cars were out to set qualifying times and with the nature of the circuit being a leveller for the nimble Modsport cars to compete with the turbo saloons it was going to be a hard one to call all day. The Silverstone race had been closely fought and this was to be the same. Paul Sibley ( class C Elan ) favours this circuit and posted pole with a 50.3 , the Morris bros Peugeot was next ( 51 ) , then the other class C modsport car of Chris Southcott 51.1.
The unknown element was just how race ready was the returning Darrian of Ian Hall who ( still ) holds the series fastest lap record here from 2013 on 49 seconds dead. After much work the night before veteran Hall eased the car round a few laps before dropping the hammer down to shoot into 4th with a 51.6. Wayne Crabtree ( Escort ) was 5th , series debutant Daniel Brown was 6th in his non-turbo Escort in class B. Brown ( 24 ) is the first professional driver to race in the series having already had years of GT racing experience under his belt. Thomas Carey also likes this circuit in his CRX and posted 7th fastest but pulled off with a crankshaft issue that would later sadly prevent him from properly making the start.
Silverstone double winner Steven Moss was down in 8th just ahead of the second `Brown and Geeson` class B Escort of Daniel`s brother Robert. Two `big bangers` were next Craig Percy in the Morris Minor 6.2 in 10th ahead of Joe Ward in the famous `Baby Bertha` Firenza. The class D rivalry was resumed with Tim Cairns ( Midget ) , Tony Paxman ( Escort ) and debutant Nick Proudlock ( Escort ) all posting times around 55 second mark. This class is for 1500cc cars or steel-bodied 2000cc cars and again provided its own close `race within a race`.
RACE ONE : Paul Sibley`s pole was immediatly overcome by a charging Chris Southcott who led lap 1 and then all the way to the flag with consistant sub-52 seconds laps for his maiden series win. Sibley held onto 2nd knowing he would again be on pole for race 2 when the Midget driver would have to take his `winners penalty`. Wayne Crabtree was the best of the chasing saloons until dropping to 5th after 9 laps. Danny Morris ( Peugeot ) had Daniel Brown breathing down his neck all race and these two finished in that order 3rd and 4th. Brown taking class B. Moss , Ward and Percy came next followed in 9th by the little Vauxhall Nova of Jezz Francis on his series debut for a fine result , in the `taster` class. The class D boys were next to finish having circulated all race as one , Proudlock taking the class win from Cairns and Paxman.
The challenge of Ian Hall ( Darrian ) ended on lap 4 having just taken 4th place when he pulled off with overheating problems. Robert Brown had been running in 7th when his mark 1 Escort threw its cam belt. The crippled Escort was off track but deemed to be in a dangerous position and the race was ended 4 laps early, Kevin Cooper in the Davrian Solo was the only runner in class E ( up to 1040cc ) and would finish both races. Tony Ellis ( RX7 ) and Graham Woskett ( TR7 ) also retired. Peter Winstone and Phil Price did not start.
RACE TWO : despite the losses of Hall , Nicholls ( Supra ) , R.Brown , Carey and Francis for race 2 we still had 17 cars and indeed Southcott was taking his `winners penalty` though from the very back of the grid not just 11th. Ricky Parker-Morris was now in the Peugeot and headed the charging pack for the first 14 of the 18 laps. It was the battle going on behind him that was so captivating. Pole man Paul Sibley had been dropped to 5th on the first lap such was the pace. Crabtree and Brown were all over the back of the Peugeot until Crabtree`s Escort started smoking and retired on lap 4. Then Steven Moss got passed Brown for 2nd place for the middle part of the race behind the Peugeot. Meanwhile Southcott had scythed through the field and had already passed his class rival Sibley on lap 3 only for the Elan to fight back. The 5 cars of Morris , Brown , Moss , Southcott and Sibley were putting on a great show. The turbo saloons struggling out of Graham Hill bend in particular allowing the nimbler cars to catch back up. Moss` challenge faded on lap 14 dropping to an eventual 5th. Southcott closed on the Peugeot and took the lead on lap 15 and onto his second win of the day. An impressive drive and set fastest race lap of the day with a 50.7 in doing so. The Peugeot settled for 2nd , Sibley 3rd and Brown 4th. These 5 had barely been much more than 2 seconds between them lap after lap and had really entertained the crowd. Ward , Ellis and Percy were next ahead of the class D battle this time headed by Tony Paxman from Proudlock and Cairns. Neil Duke and Jeremy Burgoyne again finished whilst Cole and Woskett also retired.