The Toyo BRSCC Porsche Championship saw its fullest grids to date for a three race meeting on the short but challenging Indy circuit at Brands Hatch.
Practice slots were few and far between and the majority of drivers were faced with going into qualifying cold – including 924 newcomer Mark Rocca. Class B Boxster driver Julian Brown suffered mechanical issues on the car that had had an engine rebuild since its failure at Brands, and was left with the prospect of no racing. But the Taylors Foundary team stepped in with “Red Rocket”, the car that took Rick Styin to victory last season, and Brown did so well, posting a 0:55.9 lap, that he has decided to move up to Class A for the rest of the season.
But the most dramatic event of the Friday was the high-speed crash of JM Littman’s Boxster under braking for Paddock Hill Bend when a suspension arm snapped, leaving him unable to control the car resulting in a severe Armco impact. His team did a tremendous job on the car and not only did he return to race, but he took home two trophies.
Returning to the 924s for this round was young Simon Hawksley who took poll in their class in qualifying over Hen Sharpe and, guesting for a second round, ex-Porsche Club racer Andrew Hannington. Both of these drivers were cursed with mechanical issues, however, and neither was able to finish a single race – although Hen did collect a single point for fastest lap in Race 1.
Rick Styrin set a poll lap time slightly quicker than our appearance there last season with Littman’s fixed car and Adam Croft, hoping for a return to the podium, close behind in Class A. Bernie Printy lead Michael Goodacre in Class B with Rebecca Jackson absent due to filming commitments.
Race 1 nearly ended in disaster for Chris Valentine, who stalled his handbrake-less Boxster on the grid whilst trying to avoid a penalty for rolling, but fortunately the rest of the pack avoided him, and each other, as they surged towards Paddock. He put in a creditable performance, however, to finish 15th out of the 28 starters. Rick Styrin was also lucky having suffered a brake fluid leak leaving him with no effective braking towards the end of the race. 2nd place man Jonathan Greensmith finished less than 2 seconds adrift with Littman a close third. Printy took the Class B win and Alastair Kirkham beat Simon Hawksley and Clive Morison for the 924 top spot. Paul Bravo was disqualified for missing a black flag, displayed when his bonnet came adrift.
Into Sunday and for Race 2, Hannington had received a replacement radiator for his 924 only for it to also fail after just 5 laps – it really wasn’t his weekend. Alastair Kirkham again took the 924 class win with both Simon Hawkley and Clive Morison failing to finish – in Morison’s case the result of a bad head-on crash into the tyres, knocking him briefly unconscious. Rebecca Jackson, starting from the back of the Class B grid, took their win over a much invigorated Michael Goodacre who grabbed a point for fastest lap.
In Class A, Rick Styrin returned to his normal winning margin, with Jonathan Greensmith taking second and Steven Boyles back on the podium with a third in his 987.
The final race of the weekend saw yet another mechanical failure for the unfortunate Andrew Hannington, who retired after 8 laps. Simon Hawksley this time took the 924 prize over Kirkham with David Jones taking the third place slot. Steve Boyles was rewarded with his second podium of the weekend taking 2nd with JM Littman 3rd behind Rick Styrin’s clean sweep win in Class A. Rebecca Jackson took her second win of the weekend to leave her 10 points ahead of Bernie Printy in the Class Bs.
August is a busy month for the Championship as we race again, this time for a two-race Saturday at Oulton Park on the 31st. Be sure to join us then.
Photos: Eddie Sharpe