For the Brands Hatch round of the 2015 2cvparts.com championship, sharing the meeting with truck and Legends racing was always going to get some good crowds! Over 10,000 spectators poured into the Kent circuit to watch the 2CVs compete, and perhaps some truck racing too!
They weren't greeted with the best weather if they turned up early - there was a cloudburst about 30 minutes before the 1st 2CV qualification session, so the track was damp and greasy. This was a surprise to many who were expecting a dry session, and the conditions caught a few out - there were several spinners, but fortunately no serious accidents.
It was business as usual at the top of the timesheets. Sparrow in 1st, with Richard Lambert just behind, then Philip Myatt, Peter Rundle and Alec Graham. Rundle was later excluded from qualifying for a technical infringement, but was able to start the race from the back of the grid. The lap times were incredibly close throughout the field, but some drivers were 'out of place' compared with previous form.
Naturally, during the race (which was held later the same day in dry conditions) those drivers were trying to claw back the places, which led to a fascinating mid-field scrap, featuring up to 7 cars! At the front, Pete once again showed his dominance and put a sizeable and unusual gap between himself and the rest of the field, fronted by Myatt. Lambert had made a terrible start, and was suffering from a carburettor problem - he wouldn't be alone in suffering from this, Glenn Oswin's car was a regular pit visitor because of a similar issue, and Simon Crook also experienced fuelling problems. Behind Myatt, Alec Graham slotted into a comfortable 3rd, and behind him it was anyone's guess who would come out on top, and each lap there was places changed. In the mix were Kris Tovey, Nick Crispin, Paul Taylor, Matt Hollis, Mick Storey, Caryl Wills and Glen Oswin (prior to carb problems). With the exception of Oswin, they finished in that order, but it would be impossible to list here all the place changes! Behind was another scrap for the places just outside the top 10, featuring the recovering Rundle, Tom Perry, and Lambert with his fuelling problem.
Qualifying for race 2 was held on the Saturday, but the race itself was held on the Sunday morning - both sessions were dry and sunny. Philip Myatt was on pole, with Jon Davis (taking over from Pete Sparrow) in 2nd. Then Alec Graham, Matt Lambert, Kris Tovey and Mick Storey making up the top 6. Davis started the second race well and held his position for about a lap and a half, but then the duo of Myatt and Matt Lambert took over, the two of them swapping the lead over the course of several laps. Davis meanwhile, slipped down the order to 14th place. Graham slotted into 3rd once more, and all seemed to be stable for many laps, but with Kris Tovey slowly making his way to the front after starting 6th, the order was bound to be shook up! Tovey, initially accompanied by Tom Perry and Mick Storey, arrived in the top 4 by lap 10 - Storey having risen to 3rd by this point. Graham dropped down to 5th, but by lap 15 he was back in 3rd and it was Lambert who fell back somewhat.
For a while it seemed that the order at the flag would by Myatt, Tovey, Lambert, Graham and Storey. However, with just 2 laps to go, Myatt's engine developed a problem and he did not finish the race. that promoted Tovey into a healthy lead, helped by Graham, Lambert and Storey battling for position. Graham initially claimed 2nd, but then slid down to 4th, leaving Lambert to take a deserved 2nd, and a proud Mick Storey to take 3rd place. With Graham in 4th, Nick Crispin, Louis Tyson, Matt Hollis, Simon Crook, Jon Davis and Julie Walford made up the rest of the top 10 spaces.
The 2CVPARTS.COM championship will be back in May for 2 more races at Cadwell Park, in Lincolnshire.
Maria's photo gallery can be found here: http://www.2cvracing.org.uk/gallery/category/56-brands-110415
TSL timing sheet: http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2015/1515212cv.pdf