QMN Saloons @ Brands Hatch - April 2013

The QMN Saloons at our home circuit Brands Hatch was to be our first outing of the year and it didn't end too badly!

A a strong 32 car grid was to descend on Brands Hatch Indy circuit for the first round of Quaife/Motoring News Saloons Championship. With 7 cars in our class (class A) and several of them big BHP 4WD cars, we knew we had our work cut out round the short and twisty Indy Circuit.

Qualifying was always going to be interesting with such a large grid and speed differential between the different class's. The session started of well with Alex getting a few clear laps in and posting the fastest time until there was a red flag period while a car was recovered.

(Image courtesy of Frosty Images)

The session restarted and it was a fight to see who could get the clearest lap with the least amount of traffic. In the end Rod Birley and Malcom Wise finished qualifying ahead of Alex, with only half a second between them all.

(Image courtesy of John Manclark)  

On to race one and Birley held the lead with Alex nabbing second place into Paddock Hill, with Wise and Dale Gent in the Impreza hot on his heels.

Alex tried to stay on the back end of Birley’s Cosworth but with him able to put his power down earlier out of the corners it was proving difficult. Into lap three and Gent's Impreza powered round the outside of the Holden at Druids.

(Image courtesy of Frosty Images)

Lap 4 and the four leading cars had to start picking their way through the slower cars on the circuit. Birley and Gent started to open up a gap, which left Wise's Cosworth and our Holden fighting for a crowd pleasing 3rd.

Eventually Wise squeezed up the inside of Alex into druids to take third with only 2 laps to go. The race ended with the Holden finishing fourth, proving the short Indy circuit is more suited to powerful 4WD cars!

Race two began with everyone starting in their finishing positions from race one. Birley once again held the lead with, Gent, Wise and Alex battling for second place. 4 laps in and it became a race of traffic management as the leaders picked their way through the back markers while trying to not lose any time.

Into lap 9 and Gent under pressure from Wise and Alex, ran wide out of Graham Hill Bend. Gent came flying (literally) back on to the circuit behind Wise's Cosworth and just in front of the Holden. Alex dived up the inside into Surtee's to take third as Gent's brakes failed.

(Image courtesy of Fast & Focus)

Once again Alex and Wise were in a battle for second place but only for a further 3 laps before Wise was black flagged for having a lose front splitter. This moved Alex up to second but with the gap Birley had pulled out, first place was too far out of reach.

The Holden finished in second place, adding some more silverware to our trophy cabinet!

Our next outing see’s us back a Brands on the 25th of May.

Don't for get to check out our gallery for photos from the weekends racing


Video's now on YouTube! All have HD as an option.


Posted: May 2, 2013 Return