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Champ Camp wins twice and Sharpe once in three-race Brands Hatch weekend, as Jeakins takes two wins and Hounsell one in Production Class
Reigning Milltek Sport Civic Cup Champion Alistair Camp got back to his winning ways this weekend, by scoring a double victory in the Brands Hatch triple-header that took place on 18th and 19th June, whilst Ben Sharpe made a successful return to the championship by winning the second of the three races. In the Production Class for cars with fewer modifications, it was Alfie Jeakins who stood on the top step of the podium twice and Loui Hounsell once.
With the 1.208-mile Indy version of the circuit having a track limit that allows no more than 34 cars to race at any one time, organisers were pleased to receive a maximum entry for rounds four, five and six of the championship for Honda Civic Type Rs manufactured between 2001 and 2011. As it transpired 33 cars took to the grid for the first of the weekend’s three 15-minute races.
In keeping with Civic Cup tradition, qualifying was as close as ever with the top 13 in the Cup Class separated by less than a second, the time sheets revealing Alistair Camp quickest with his regular nemesis Matt Luff second just 0.331seconds behind and William Redford third by a miniscule 0.034. It was tight in the Production Class too, with Loui Hounsell stopping the clocks a slender 0.033 ahead of championship leader Alfie Jeakins, with third placed Dave Marshall 0.060 further back.
Round 4 – Race Report
Camp hooked up a clean start ahead of Matt Luff, with Will Redford in close company – the opening laps made all the more interesting when spots of rain started to fall.
The running order settled early on with the leading trio holding station ahead of the chasing pack comprising Dan Thackeray, Brad Lane, Max Lewis, Morgan Bailey, Rob Butler, Harvey Caton and Ryan Bensley who, having moved up the order, began to drop down it, following an off-track excursion.
Meanwhile, at the front of the field, Camp extended his advantage, going on to take his inaugural win of the season ahead of Luff and Redford who recorded his first ever Civic Cup podium. Thackeray and Bailey completed the top five after passing Lane in the latter stages of the race.
Swapping from his TCR Golf GTi to a Civic for the weekend, Rob Butler claimed sixth place ahead of Bensley, Lewis, Jack Harding and winner at Brands Hatch last year Ben Sharpe, who rounded off the top ten.
In the Production Class, Hounsell initially stayed ahead of triple-winner at Cadwell Park and championship leader Jeakins, who held off a challenge from Marshall in the opening laps, whilst series debutant Aaron Reeve held a strong fourth place before retiring. Jeakins eventually found a way past Hounsell in the closing stages and in doing so, claimed his fourth Production Class win of the year out of four races.
Round 5 – Race Report
With the top ten finishing positions from Saturday’s race one dictating the starting positions for Sunday’s race two in reverse, it was Ben Sharpe who lined up in Pole position for the first of day’s two encounters.
Sharpe was as good as his name off the start, keeping Bailey – who had passed Harding for second place – at bay on the opening lap, with the leading trio hotly pursued by Bensley, Butler and Lewis. Redford lost places early on to Thackeray, Luff and Camp, who were on a mission to improve their enforced lower-than-capable grid positions.
Harding managed to get back ahead of Bailey for second place as Redford fell down the order at the same point that George Alp-Williams started his mid-race charge from twelfth on the grid, passing Max Edmundson, Camp, Butler and then Thackeray. But it was the middle of the 33-car pack that saw the fiercest action, as places changed lap-by-lap.
Out front Sharpe was oblivious to the antics behind him and went on to take the win, ahead of Bailey and Bensley. Harding took a well-earned fourth place with Alp-Williams fifth having made up seven places during the race. Camp scored important points in sixth ahead of Thackeray and Luff, with Lewis recovering to take ninth ahead of Ben Mills in tenth.
In the Production Class, Hounsell followed up his maiden podium finish from the previous day with his first victory and in doing so broke team-mate Alfie Jeakins’ run of category wins. In contention throughout the race, Reeve took an impressive second place, as Marshall continued his consistent run of podium finishes to finish third.
For triple-header weekends, grid positions for race three are determined by the second-fastest time in qualifying. Making the most of his Pole Position advantage, Luff aced his getaway ahead of Thackeray who made an even better start from P3 and challenged Camp going into turn one.
The early order saw Luff leading Camp, Thackeray and Bailey, with Redford, Butler, Harding, Paul Taylor, Lewis and Caton hot on their heels. However, the battle only lasted until the end of the first lap when the Safety Car was deployed after the Pro Alloys Racing Civic of Owen Hillman was caught up in a bruising tussle on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend.
Racing resumed with nine of the fifteen minutes remaining, giving Camp the chance to put pressure on his Area Motorsport team-mate for the lead, as behind them Redford passed Bailey and further back Harding made his way past Butler.
For the next three laps Luff and Camp couldn’t be separated, as they went nose-to-tail until Camp took a brave outside line around Druids Hairpin and held position on the exit, which put him on the inside for the left-hander of Graham Hill Bend. Once in the lead, the 2021 Champion never looked back and crossed the line just over a second ahead of 2021 runner-up Luff, to set up another irresistible battle between them for this season’s title.
Redford secured the remaining step on the podium, with Harding fourth place ahead of Lewis and Bensley. Butler held off Caton for seventh place, with Taylor and Sharpe completing the top ten.
Jeakins had to earn his fifth Production Class victory out of six races the hard way, after finding himself caught up in the collision on Paddock Hill. Initially, it was Hounsell from Marshall before the positions changed following the restart, but having gathered pace throughout the weekend, Reeve took the lead in the closing stages. However, Jeakins was on a mission and in a final push to the front recorded his fifth victory of the season ahead of Marshall, Reeves and then Hounsell.
The Milltek Sport Civic Cup is supported by Milltek Sport, Goodyear, Maximum Networks, Liqui Moly, MaxiCloud Hosted Telephony, Co-ordSport, Berkshire Turbo, Joyce Design, Steel Seal, PRS braking systems and Maximum Performance. The Championship is administered by Club Time Attack.
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS AFTER ROUND 6
1 Alistair CAMP – Honda Civic EP3 – Area Motorsport – 116
2 Matt LUFF – Honda Civic EP3 – Area Motorsport – 116
3 George ALP-WILLIAMS – Honda Civic EP3 – Area Motorsport – 92
4 Ryan BENSLEY – Honda Civic EP3 – Zest Racecar Engineering – 84
5 Max LEWIS – Honda Civic EP3 – Mintro Motorsport – 83
1 Alfie JEAKINS – Honda Civic EP3 – Jeakins Race Preperation – 131
2 Dave MARSHALL – Honda Civic FN2 – Kinetic Motorsport – 131
3 Loui HOUNSELL – Honda Civic EP3 – Jeakins Race Preperation – 108
4 Mark HUGHES – Honda Civic FN2 – Kinetic Motorsport – 93
5 Rhys LEWIS – Honda Civic EP3 – Privateer – 70
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