The BARC’s traditional Brooklands Race Day was wont to feature modern races in recent years. a round of the British F3 Championship being included until last year Now it is exclusively Historic with most of the races being rounds of HSCC Championships. This year’s event was sponsored by John Foulston’s Atlantic Computers concern amid rumours that Foulston is attempting to buy the lease on the circuit to add to the three tracks he has recently acquired.
The programme kicked off with a combined race for the HSCC Pre ’60 Historic Sports Car Championship and the HSCC Pre ’65 Grand Prix Car Championship. Entries for both were fairly thin with only three ‘Grand Prix’ cars. John Brindley took immediate charge with his Brabham BT 10 and went off into the wide blue yonder followed at an ever-increasing distance by Allan Miles’ spiritedly-driven Cooper T41-Climax F2 car with Dennis Welch’s Austin Healey 100/6 in third. Frank Lockhart completed lap one in fifth place in his venerable Rover Special but soon overhauled Michael Schryver’s Elite which had to pit to rectify a fuel pick-up problem. Lockhart then set off after Brian Ashby (Lola Mk 1) and this became a battle for third as Miles’ Cooper started to misfire and drop down the field.
Driving with brio belying his67 years, Lockhart forced his way past Ashby and set out after Welch. tailing by three seconds at the flag Andrew Usher (A-H 100/61 and Terry Sanger (Healey Silverstone) had a fine dice, with Usher winning, and so too did Mel Clarke (Porsche 35661 and Tim Burrett (Lancia Aurelia B20). with Clarke heading Burrett by 0.7 seconds at the flag.
The HSCC Seldon Pre ’71 Single Seater Championship ten tapper brought out a healthy field, many of which wore original colours (e.g. David McLaughlin’s black and gold Lotus 721. It should have been a John Foulston/James Wallis battle, for the McLaren M 19s of the two men occupied the front row a full eight seconds clear of the /text man, but Wallis’ gear linkage broke on the warm up lap and Foulston had an easy drive to the flag.
Roger Ealand’s ex-Roy Lane F5000 McLaren M106 held a lonely second throughout while McLaughlin was pestered by Andrew Fellowesi Brabharn BT30 and, for the first four laps, by Martin Steele (March 702) Fellowes finished only 0.6 seconds in arrears while Mary Foulston (Lotus 72) just pipped Championship sponsor Alex Sheldon (Lola T300) for sixth.
The highlight of the two-day Brands Hatch meeting was the Chevron tussle between Simon Hadfield (86-Lotus) and Frank Sylner (B8-BMW) and for the first couple of laps of the HSCC Atlantic Computers 2 Litre GT Championship race, it looked as though we were to be treated to a repeat performance as the two men pulled away from the field with Sytner in front Then carne the news that both were to be penalised ten seconds for jumping the start) and attention became focused on the progress of the Team Lazerlink Chevron B8s of Richard Dodkins and Tim Goss.
For the first three laps, Hadfield and Sytner swopped the ‘lead’ until Hadfield managed to keep it at the Chicane and thereafter was able to pull away. Goss slowed on the following lap and so Dodkins had a clear lead on time, if not on the road. Both Hadfield and Sytner then fought against the clock. Hadfield emerged with a six second (16 seconds on the road) win while Sytner failed by two seconds to take second place from Dodkins. With cars like the Lancia Fulvia, Triumph GT6 and Sunbeam Alpine eligible for the HSCC John Lellioot Post Historic Road Sports Championship, the HSCC can hardly be accused of being exclusively a rich man’s club. Paul Weldon took his TVR Tuscan to a relaxed win from Cyril Baxter’s Marcos-Volvo while the Lotuses of Don Hands (Elan-Twin Cam) and Simon Ford (Europa-Renault) provided the excitement during a race-long dice for third which Hands took by 0.7 seconds after Ford, who lapped faster, survived a quick spin at Campbell.
Feature race of the day was for the HSCC Atlantic Computers Historic GT Championship and it was no surprise to see the McLarens of Foulston (M8D), Brindley (M8C) and Wallis (M8E) power into the lead, Foulston taking the flag by eight seconds Mike Wheatley (BRM P154) finished lap one in fourth place but took Wallis next time around and by lap nine (of 15) was visibly closing on Brindley whose engine was running hot. Wheatley got close to taking second but Brindley had just enough in handle hold the place. Wallis, who had a slow puncture in a front tyre, came home fourth ahead of Richard Eyre’s Chevron B19 which cantered home a clear winner in class C.
These days anything with a Lotus badge attracts large bags of yen and Lotus 23s are fast becoming an endangered species in Britain. Taking their place as the likely car in the HSCC Classic Sportscar Championship is the Elva 7 and Mike Harrison’s BMW-powered 7S had little opposition. This race was run concurrently with a round ot the Park Place Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship.
On the second lap Anthony Griffin’s Elan flipped at Kimpton, fortunately without serious injury to the driver. This brought the red flags out and the race was re-started Harrison had had only five practice laps in his Elva so was glad of the extra mileage and was able to quickly depose of Tony Thompson whose Elan had led the first ‘race’. Roger Ea/and (Marcos-Volvo) was third and John Corfield’s Diva, fourth. Andrew Usher and Terry Sanger had another fine dice in the Thoroughbred race (won by Reg Woodcock’s TR3 from David Heynes’ Aston Martin DB4) and with Usher spinning at the Chicane on the last lap, Sanger took third overall and first in class.
The great scrap of the day came in the last race, again a combined event, for the Lenham Storage Historic Formula Junior Championship end the Historic Formula Three Championship. John Skinner’s F3 Lotus 59 (very smart in GLTL colours) led John Harper’s FJ Lotus 22 away and for all of the ten laps these two drove very hard indeed never more than a few feet apart. On lap eight. Harper just managed to stay ahead at the Chicane and slithered through ahead of Skinner. Skinner was all over Harper and then, on the last lap, entered the Chicane wide and fast and came out ahead to win by less than a length Both men won their respective classes while Mike Harrison brought his Matlock U2 home first in the front-engined FJ class.
So ended a very pleasant day’s racing but a day which for many spectators would have been enhanced if there was some clearer way of identifying cars from different classes In most races there was neither rhyme nor reason in numbering A solution might be to insist on different coloured backgrounds for numbers according to class and also to number sequentially within each class. – M.L.