After a successful weekend covering CSCC at Brands with Mattie Evans and Liquid Moly on Friday and Britcar at Silverstone with Simon Green Motorsport, it was time for the Kumho BMWRDC double header scheduled for Sunday.
The weather had taken a turn for the worse, and qualifying was on a waterlogged circuit with rain still falling. A number of drivers had suffered pre-race dramas with Brad Sheehan’s engine letting go on the rolling road, James Card had a valve spring break in Friday testing, Russell Dack was seen changing his gearbox, and a number of the BMW Mini’s had issues.
The fitting of a “standard” engine didn’t seem to trouble Brad as he planted his car on pole alongside the other engine transplantee James Card. Bryan Bransom was 3rd after his Saturday heroics in the SGM car with Russell 4th. Class B leader Ronan Bradley took 5th with Mike Vitulli in his invitation class car 6th. The next three rows of the grid were occupied by BMW Mini’s driven by Rob Austin, Zac Blackwell, Dan Butcher-Lord, Charles Heatley, Andy Langley and Alan Lee, all taking advantage of their front-wheel drive in the slippery conditions. Long time BMWRDC racer Sean Foley made a welcome return after a long layoff with his striking new Class B E36 M3. He was joined on the 7th row by Class C leader Kevin Denwood. New to the championship was Colin Voyce in 15th alongside the Mini of Steve Webb, followed by Jas Sapra in his yellow Class C SGM E46 M3 and Chris Walton, hoping for a change in fortunes after endless problems this year. The top twenty was rounded out by Carare and Ross Alexander making his first appearance, both in Mini’s.
The rain eased slightly, but the track was still wet and greasy. Nevertheless, James Card made a good start to lead for the first couple of laps from Bryan Bransom, who had made a place from the start. Bryan, a self-confessed fan of wet races, took the lead on lap 3 and never looked like being beaten. James Card, more of a dry race specialist, lost 2nd place to Russell shortly before the finish and was pushed out of the podium places by a hard-charging Brad Sheehan, who recovered from a mid-race spin to take 3rd. Adrian Bradley took the Invitation class in 5th O/A with cousin Ronan following him across the line to win Class B. Mini’s were next, with Zac Blackwell, Dan Butcher-Lord and Rob Austin taking the first three places, while Andy Langley in another Mini completed the top ten. Bryan’s first Kumho BMWRDC win of the season was popular with the spectators and competing drivers, not to mention all the Simon Green Motorsport guys who prepared the car!
For race 2, the rain had stopped, and there was a drying line. Brad Sheehan took full advantage to blast off the line and led at the end of Lap 1 from Card, Dack and Ronan Bradley, who was leading Class B. By Lap 10, the order was Sheehan, Dack, and Card, with a hard-charging Michael Vitulli up into 6th place after starting from the back of the grid following a DNF in Race 1. Russell took the lead on Lap 14 and took the chequered flag ahead of James Card and Brad Sheehan. Bryan finished 4th after sustaining accident damage, Adrian was the top invitation driver and Mike Vitulli next. Kevin was 7th and won Class C ahead of Jas Sapra in the other SGM car. Zac led a herd/flock of Mini’s over the line to win the class, followed by Steve Webb, Dan Butcher-Lord, Rob Austin and Andy Langley. All Chris Walton’s hard work was rewarded with his first Class B win of the season, to follow his 2nd place in Race 1. Colin Voyce was next, with Ross Alexander, Charles Heatley, Trevor Ford, Carare, Foley and Lee completing the finishers.