In Co-ordSport Blog
A second visit to Brands Hatch this season for the Milltek Sport Civic Cup saw rounds 13 and 14 of the 16-round championshiptake place. Taking place in front of 1000s of spectators at an event designed to celebrate Japanese automotive culture, Go Japan!
In the production class for cars with fewer modification, Alfie Jeakins continued his winning ways by scoring victory in both outings.
The time sheets showed that the first eight cars were separated by only 0.567 of a second!Due to the emergence of the red flag, which was halfway through the 15-minute session. It was Bailey (MJB Motorsport) who went quickest by 0.074 around the 1.208-mile Indy version of the circuit. Closely followed by second in the championship Matt Luff (Area Motorsport), with Jack Harding (Jack Harding Motorsport) third. Current championship leader and twice-winner at Brands Hatch back in June, Alistair Camp (Area Motorsport) found himself a slightly surprising fourth. With Dan Thackeray (Motion Motorsport) four thousandths of a second behind in fifth. Loui Hounsell (Jeakins Race Preparation) was the best of the Production runners in, with teammate and class championship leader Jeakins second and Simon Welch (Team Squelch) third.
Bailey utilised his pole position status as the lights went out and lead the field heading into turn one, Paddock Hill Bend, closely followed by Luff. Just behind them, Camp and Thackeray tangled with a slower starting Harding, who somehow managed to hang onto third place on the run down Paddock Hill.Will Redford (Pro Alloys Racing) was just one of a number of drivers who was struggling with cold tyres at Druids Hairpin. He slid wide and then re-joined after losing a handful of places, whilst his teammate Owen Hillman found himself sideways across the track following contact with Production Class pole-sitter Hounsell. Both ending their race in the pits at the end of the first lap.
With the top three locked in battle, Thackeray found his way past Camp to take fourth place. Closely followed in sixth and seventh by Harvey Caton (JWB Motorsport) and Max Edmondson (Area Motorsport). Going into Paddock Hill bend at the start of the fourth lap, Harding made a move on Luff. He was however carrying too much speed, which caused him to slide off the track and into the gravel trap on the outside of the corner. Fortunately, he managed to keep momentum across the loose surface, albeit now in seventh place. Seventh quickly became sixth when he squeezed past Edmondson a lap later – and then Caton two laps after that. With five minutes to go, guest driver with the Pro Alloys team Josh Harvey went straight on at the infamous Paddock Hill Bend, ending his race in the barriers on the outside of the track.
The top five positions held on for the rest of the race, which saw Bailey score his fourth win of the season ahead of Luff, who set the fastest lap. Thackery held off the late challenges of Camp, with Harding fifth, Edmondson sixth, Redford seventh, Daniel Macdonald (Kinetic Motorsport) eighth and Jordan Brennan (TSR Powered by Liqui Moly UK) ninth. Jeff Alden (Matrix Motorsport) rounded off the top ten. In the Production Class, it was business as usual for Jeakins.
With the top ten positions from the race one dictating the top ten grid positions for race two, in reverse order, Alden found himself on pole position for the second time this season. A blistering start by Redford saw him take the lead at Paddock Hill Bend, closely followed by Brennan, who was then passed by Thackeray and Edmondson at Druids.As others were fighting their way to the front, Alden fell victim to their efforts and as cars streamed through Clearways for the first time, he was hit from behind and then collected by Matt Cripps who was trying to stay out of trouble and get past on inside of the corner. Harding also had a moment where he visited the gravel for the second time. But this time on the outside of Clark Curve, forcing him to re-join at the back of the field. With Alden’s car now minus its front right-side suspension, the safety car was deployed whilst recovery crews did their best to remove the car as quickly as possible.
Once racing resumed there was only four minutes left on the clock and, as the safety car pulled-off it was Redford who slid wide. This allowed Thackeray, Edmondson and Bailey to close up. Within the next lap, Bailey, then Camp and then Luff went past Edmondson as they battled to make the most of the limited time remaining. Redford still appeared to be struggling for grip, allowing Thackeray to get alongside on the run into Paddock Hill Bend for the penultimate lap. A move which forced Redford wide on the exit. Bailey and Camp were also able to find their way past Redford, his race ending in the pits due to the damaged sustained during the various passing manoeuvres. With one lap left, Caton became another to pay a visit to the Paddock Hill gravel trap, beaching his car in the process. Both Bailey and Camp did all they could in the closing stages to catch Thackeray. But he managed to hold on, to score his third victory of the season. Luff, who once again set the fastest lap of the race, crossed the line in third. Edmonson, Brennan, Macdonald, Harding and Harvey all followed. Jeakins finished tenth overall and claimed his second Production Class win in the process ahead of Hounsell.
The outcome of the races sees the championship positions at the top of the table get even tighter. Meaning that with competitors unable to drop scores from either of the two remaining rounds (taking place at Snetterton on 23rd October). There are four drivers who are all in with a mathematical chance of winning the Cup Class title: Alistair Camp, Matt Luff, Morgan Bailey and Dan Thackeray. In the Production Class, it’s a straight shoot-out between Jeakins and Hounsell.