Brands Hatch played host to Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2021 Kumho BMWRDC Championship the weekend after the opening rounds. It was another meeting where qualifying and both races were held on only one day – Saturday in this case. A large number of drivers were missing after having been unable to resolve the issue from the races at Donington Park only four days previously!
However, the newly instigated 2021 class in the championship for the BMW Mini saw the three drivers, Andy Langley, Neal Clarke and Gary Papworth, who raced at Rounds 1 and 2, joined by David Butcher-Lord and Zac Blackwell at Brands.
Qualifying Race Results
James Card again proved fastest in qualifying with DP race winner Brad Sheehan alongside him. Invitation driver Niall Bradley was 3rd with Kumho regular Darren Morgan Owen coming 4th. Max Walton was one of those who had managed to remedy his mechanical issues and was rewarded with 5th on the grid, with Ian Crisp next to him. Jas Sapra and Niall’s brother, Ronan, occupied the 4th row, while Daniel Butcher-Lord was first of the Mini’s with BMWDRC president Trevor Ford rounding out the top ten of the grid in the first of the Class B cars. Kevin Denwood was 11th in another Class B car with the Mini’s of Andy Langley and Zac Blackwell alongside and behind him. James Ford, Neal Clarke, Gary Papworth and Peter Miller completed the grid.
Race 1 Results
By the time of the first BMW race after lunch, the weather had really warmed up, and the crowds were noticeably larger. Brad Sheehan got the drop on pole-sitter James Card at the start and led into the first corner. No serious drama’s ensued, and James kept the pressure on Brads Capel Tree Surgeons backed car for the first few laps.
James then disappeared into the pits while Niall Bradley took up the chase but to no avail, as Brad steadily extended his lead to cross the line nearly 7 seconds to the good. Darren was a lonely 3rd with Max also clear in a well deserved 4th place.
Ian Crisp beat Jas Sapra to the flag, but the positions were reversed after Ian picked up a 5-second penalty for exceeding track limits, particularly galling after a technical infringement had meant him starting from the back of the grid. Invitation driver Ronan Bradley was 7th with Daniel Butcher-Lord 8th in the first of the Mini’s.
Trevor Ford won Class B from Kevin Denwood in 9th and 10, respectively, with Andy Langley in his Mini holding off James Ford. Peter Miller was 13th ahead of the remaining Mini’s of Neal Clarke, Zac Blackwell and Gary Papworth. A great spectacle for the spectators with individual battles throughout the field and another race to come!
Race 2 Results
Race 2 saw James Card in the same position as at Donington Park, starting from the back of the grid after his misfortunes in race 1. Brad Sheehan again led from the start and set off to put as much distance as possible between himself and the pursuing pack, knowing that James Card would be on a charge from the back of the grid – and so it proved.
Brad led Darren, Niall and Max by over a second after the first lap, but James was carving through the field and was already up to 7th place. By Lap 4, Brad’s lead was nearly 3 seconds, but James, clearly a man on a mission, was up to 5th. Another 3 laps and James had taken 2nd place, albeit 5 seconds in arrears.
In the other classes, Daniel was leading Mini, and Kevin Denwood had got in front of Trevor to lead Class B. The remainder of the race had the crowds on their feet as the two leaders carved their way through backmarkers, with the gap closing and opening as the race edged towards its climax.
The closest James got to the lead was a shade under 3/10ths of a second, but Brad kept his head and drove superbly to take the flag 4/10ths ahead of James. Niall Bradley held off Darren for the final podium spot; Jas took 5th with Max, Ian and Ronan next across the line.
Daniel was again the leading Mini, and Kevin Denwood won Class B. James Ford was ahead of Andy and Neal in their Mini’s with Trevor Ford followed home by Zac and Gary in the remaining two Mini’s. A classic tight clean race with no accidents and a credit to every driver who took part, those slicing through the field and those being lapped.
The 3rd and 4th July is the next meeting which takes place at Snetterton, so make sure you come along for another action-packed meeting!