Monoposto Championship Brands Hatch 28 March 2010: 2000 & Classic
The entry list boasted a spectacular number of Mono Classic 2000 entries – clearly the class for the cognoscenti, with Mono 2000 having several Dallaras, but curiously not one of the expected “new” Dallaras appeared, excepting Graham Read’s developed Mono Formula car from last year. What did appear were several new Formula Renaults, including a brace run by Antec Motorsport to BARC spec in Mono 2000 and a very nice Alpa driven by Chris Scott in Mono Classic plus a newly acquired car in the hands of Tom Brown.. Jeremy Goodman just ran out of time to get one his Ralts ready (too much choice?). Doug McLay was forced to withdraw his Mygale from the Mono2000 (and Mono1800) races, while Amnon Needham withdrew his entry after a family bereavement, but was credited with tenth fastest qualifying time in the Mono 2000 race! This is the type of error that could lead to unfortunate misunderstandings. Richard Purcell's team are having considerable trouble producing a quiet Dallara F300, so substituted their low line FVL and so changed classes. Geoff Fern had gone one better, he changed races; at the back of his garage he found his old RF00 Mono2000. Joanie dusted it off for him and once a radial had been substituted for a punctured cross ply, giving a tyre combination that would be illegal on the road, he was ready to race.
First qualifying, for Mono 2000 and Classic saw Jeremy Timms set the early pace, from Robbie Watts and Josh Webster in the first of the Antec cars. The other two cars from this stable both failed to complete a lap, which gave the Team and the drivers a lot of work to do. However as the session drew to a close Tristan Cliffe took a very good pole in the 2000s and Geoff Fern, running his Van Diemen 2000 in Classic, took the other class pole. Kevin Otway’s performance is both worthy of mention, he turned in a very good performance on the busy track. Russ Giles had a disaster when the Reynard’s gearbox casing failed, ending his day immediately; and Peter Bragg and Kevin Mason managed to tangle with each other bringing out the Safety Car when Kevin’s Dallara wouldn’t move with only three wheels connected up. Lou Watts was also very unlucky to damage a corner of his FVL just enough to defy repair, so he had an early bath as well.
Amazingly it hadn’t rained by race time, so everyone was comfortably on slicks for the Mono 2000/Classic encounter. Disaster struck poleman Tristan Cliffe when the immaculate Omicron Dallara refused to start, and despite both the Timms and Harrison teams lending bits, the damn thing wouldn’t go, leaving Tristan understandably upset. The only upside to this was the sight of the Club Chairman speedily peddling Simon Davey’s bike through the central paddock in a bid to get a new coil to the Cliffes. Graham Read was another Dallara with a DNS, while Richard Purcell nearly joined them when he stalled and was pushed into the pit lane as the field were on their green flag lap.
Simon Davey and Patrick Huston.
At total of 53 Mono entries made it to the meeting, which was absolutely excellent. The entry also featured no less than 10 drivers who didn’t race with us last year, with a couple of them, Mathew Draper and Nigel Davers, competing in their first car race – both acquitting themselves very well during the day.
MSVR had taken on a very large entry for the meeting as a whole, and there were initial concerns about paddock space, but on the day it was fine, provided you avoided getting locked out of the circuit on the Saturday evening.
One issue which did raise its head during the day was driving standards. The on-track action was pretty hectic and various incidents, none too serious fortunately, brought out a couple of red flags, Safety Cars and many yellows. Several Mono drivers didn’t pay enough attention to these and the Clerk of the Course was kept busy handing out penalty points. Admittedly Brands tends to be a hectic circuit to lap in company, but it is really important that as Club we ensure that we do comply with flag signals – it’s essential for the safety of both the marshals and ourselves, so please sharpen up on this guys.
Scrutineering produced a drama for two of the new drivers when their race suits were found to be out of date, but the very friendly Monoposto crowd rapidly produced a couple of pairs of overalls on loan – great stuff!
BARC spec F Renaults appeared in Mono for the first time. This one in the hands of Tom Brown
Chris Scott’s very pretty and rare F Renault Alpa debuted in Classic
Kevin Otway was another newcomer, this time in a Formula Vauxhall
....and Simon Lonnergan another in err another....
....whereas legendary Mono racer Francis Phillips appeared in a Reynard 923
Geoff Fern found his FF00 in the back of his garage, dusted it off and promptly won Classic
Reigning Champ Neil Harrison was second in Mono 2000 and overall