Dunlop Ford Fiesta Championship
|2011 Brands Hatch, Series Rounds 7 & 8|
October 15-16, 2011
Round 7 -- Class A and B
It was a good number of class A and B cars that took to the track and we welcomed some new drivers out. Ian Scruton, Richard Beach, Barry Edwards and Tim Glover (the latter two in Zetecs).
From the red lights going out, the hot sun beat down as the cars went off to the beckoning Paddock Hill bend and a slight contact but all survived -- not sure who was concerned there. Very impressed with the B class car of Nik Barton and as the cars came up to finish the first lap of twenty one, the order was John Langridge from Dave Elsom, Nik Barton, Ed West, Michel Edwards, Scott Baines, Kevin Stirling, Ken Bateman, Keith Chapman, Claire Kemp, Barry Edwards, Nick Tiley, Zena Cooper, James Appleby, Richard Beach, Tim Glover; with Ian Scruton to completing the field. Onto lap 2 and Baines got by Edwards (M) as did Bateman to Stirling. Chapman and Kemp tucked behind them. Lap 5 and Kemp nipped by Chapman. West was driving really well and was looking to pass the other class car (B) to take the battle to the two Si leaders. It was lap 8 before this manoeuvre did work for West and he set off after the leading duo of Langridge and Elsom. In B, the battle was well and truly joined as now the Zetec train was headed by Barton from Baines, Edwards (M), Bateman, Stirling, Kemp, Chapman then Edwards (B). Into the second half of the race and West was surging around the bends and was only a nibble from wresting a second place ? A few warning flags were exercised to various drivers for a reminder to stay on the black stuff. Lap 13 (and lucky for some) as West did get the drop to 2nd and in turn was still chased hard by the Barton Zetec. On the penultimate lap (20) and West looked to have the 2nd spot all sown up until he slipped out of shape exiting Clearways and lost out to a grateful Elsom and also to Barton as the chequered flag announced John Langridge as the race winner and Nik Barton took the Zetec class B win.
Round 8 -- Class A and B
To follow the earlier racing we hoped to see all 17 race cars not only start, but also finish the race. This they did in great style in what was a good big grid of SI and Zetec racers. As the red light went out, the Poleman Langridge had sat on the line for a longer time than perhaps he ought as the field formed up. As was said on commentary this sometimes unsettles the concentration of the front row drivers as they try to eagerly anticipate the off. This time it showed to be so as Langridge bogged down slightly to allow cars to pass him into Paddock. Thus it was that for the first time I could recall we had a different leader in Elsom with a 7/100ths lead over Langridge. The euphoria of leading was quickly over as Langridge took the lead on lap 2. Similarly in B it was Baines who headed Barton. The exciting West was just back in 5th. Barton looked pretty confident in taking the class lead for the Zetecs but Baines was much too experienced to panic or make a mistake. That said, Barton did get by on lap 4 to take the class lead and third overall. It now seems that the Langridge superiority was being understood as Elsom just over 2 seconds in arrears. This was going to be another 21 laps of racing and as the half way mark was reached the order saw that West had grabbed some moves and was occupying 3rd place behind the leader Langridge and second placed Elsom. The tailgate of Scruton which had come up once or twice saw him pit to have it remedied. Barton was under all sorts of pressure from Baines who in turn saw Edwards (M), Stirling and Bateman pressuring them. Just a few yards then and we saw Kemp and Chapman resuming their tussle. Heading down to the race end, the front three places were steady with 5 -6 seconds separating them. The front B class cars were covered by 4 seconds. The chequered flag came out for John Langridge and class B for Nik Barton. Great drives and good doubles.
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