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Brands Hatch - 28 April 2002


Weather/track: Cloudy/dry+damp
Pos No Class Driver Car Time
Laps Behind
kph mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 52.337 17   135.73 84.34
2 2 A Rick Lloyd +8 52.783 12 0.446 134.59 83.63
3 54 B Peter Horsman +8 54.152 14 1.815 131.18 81.51
4 1 B James Paterson +8 55.414 14 3.077 128.20 79.66
5 13 B Chris Acklam +8 56.371 14 4.034 126.02 78.30
6 50 C Paul Burry +8 56.414 16 4.077 125.92 78.24
7 45 C Andy Green +8 56.607 16 4.270 125.49 77.98
8 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 56.675 15 4.338 125.34 77.88
9 55 A Phillip McKelvey +8 57.387 15 5.050 123.79 76.92
10 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 57.447 15 5.110 123.66 76.84
11 69 B Phil Hollins +8 57.559 11 5.222 123.42 76.69
12 31 C Leigh Sebba +8 58.070 11 5.733 122.33 76.01
13 41 E Adrian van der Kroft +4 58.553 14 6.216 121.32 75.39
14 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 58.558 15 6.221 121.31 75.38
15 57 B James Bellinger 4/4 59.274 13 6.937 119.85 74.47
16 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 59.798 15 7.461 118.80 73.82
17 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 1:00.299 15 7.962 117.81 73.20
18 48 D Philip Goddard +8 1:01.720 14 9.383 115.10 71.52
19 11 E David James +4 1:03.361 14 11.024 112.12 69.66

Brands Hatch - 28 April 2002


Weather/track: Cloudy/dry+damp
Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph Best
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 10:59.070 12
80.37 52.831 83.55
2 2 A Rick Lloyd +8 11:00.762 12 1.692 80.16 52.957 83.35
3 1 B James Paterson +8 11:33.350 12 34.280 76.39 55.652 79.32
4 13 B Chris Acklam +8 11:34.293 12 35.223 76.29 55.223 79.93
5 50 C Paul Burry +8 11:38.247 12 39.177 75.86 56.165 78.59
6 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 11:45.105 12 46.035 75.12 56.671 77.89
7 45 C Andy Green +8 11:00.994 12 1 lap 80.13 57.950 76.17
8 55 A Phillip McKelvey +8 11:05.786 12 1 lap 79.56 57.881 76.26
9 69 B Phil Hollins +8 11:06.011 12 1 lap 79.53 58.276 75.74
10 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 11:10.280 12 1 lap 79.02 58.279 75.74
11 41 E Adrian van der Kroft +4 11:13.938 12 1 lap 78.60 58.774 75.10
12 57 B James Bellinger 4/4 11:14.549 12 1 lap 78.52 57.573 76.67
13 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 11:15.319 11 1 lap 71.90 59.052 74.75
14 31 C Leigh Sebba +8 11:15.985 11 1 lap 71.83 58.081 76.00
15 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 11:39.462 11 1 lap 69.42 1:01.050 72.30
16 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 11:39.766 11 1 lap 69.39 1:00.866 72.52
17 48 D Philip Goddard +8 11:49.383 11 1 lap 68.45 1:01.390 71.90
18 11 E David James +4 11:57.200 11 1 lap 67.70 1:01.664 71.58

Brands Hatch - 28 April 2002

Fastest laps

secs kph mph
  A Keith Ahlers 52.831 134.47 83.56
  B Chris Acklam 55.223 128.64 79.94
  C Paul Burry 56.165 126.49 78.60
  D Jack Bellinger 59.052 120.30 74.75
  E Adrian van der Kroft 58.774 120.87 75.11

Lap Records

secs kph mph
3-May-99 A Matthew Wurr 52.72 134.75 83.73
3-May-99 B Rick Lloyd 53.76 132.15 82.11
7-May-00 C James Paterson 55.61 127.75 79.38
3-May-99 D Peter Horsman 57.55 123.44 76.70
25-Mar-01 E Alan Wickenden 58.57 121.29 75.37

Ahlers wins again at Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch 28th April 2002

As soon as news of an impending MMCC race to be held at Brands Hatch on Sunday April 28th reached the gods of meteorological forces the weather immediately changed from one of the sunniest Aprils on record to the more usual typical blustery showers. Those who had taken Friday off for testing were treated to heavy rain for most of the day. By Sunday morning, although temperatures had returned to normal the sky was overcast and rain threatened. The meeting organised by the 750 club was one of those long drawn out affairs when hours pass between qualifying and the race (on this occasion the last of the day).

Our intrepid drivers, as you know, remain undeterred by waiting; indeed it gives them more time to rebuild their cars should that prove necessary. As three of them whiled away some of the time by entering a 750 Roadsports Championship race they significantly increased the their chances of a rebuild, whoops! of flying the Morgan flag.

When the Morgan drivers drove into the collecting area for qualifying, Rick and Keith arrived from the preceding Roadsports qualifying in a great lather. Rick was first on the 750 grid, and as Keith had been winning that particular series he certainly wanted to ensure pole for the Morgan series. Peter H, who had also entered, was feeling great as he had qualified 4th and was confident that his car was going well. Entry requirements for the Roadsports mean that they can run on different tyres and have to sport windscreens, so your scribe is reliably informed that there is still much to be proved between the two qualifying sessions as success in one does not necessarily meaning anything in the other.

The track was dry but greasy and by its very nature there was a lot of traffic. Many drivers found that their tyres took a while to “come in” which is perhaps what happened to Paul Chauveau when he completely lost it as he came down Paddock Hill bend, went onto the gravel, and then wiggled across the track before coming to a stop just before the Armco on the right hand side of Hailwood. He must then have taken a deep breath before proceeding in a more circumspect manner for the rest of practice.

Rick and Keith were far from circumspect in their attempts to out qualify one another. They tore around as though the race had started. Keith even mis-selected first gear for third several times around Druids causing his car to slide in an alarming manner. It all came to a close when Rick chose the end of the Brabhams Straight on his 12th practice lap to over cook his tyres and enter the gravel trap big time, leaving huge tyre marks in the grass just to show his entry, but not his exit marks. This allowed Keith an extra five practice laps in which to clock a faster time.

Part way through qualifying an ominous black flag was hung out by one of the marshals at Brabhams with a really small orange circle on it, in which an even smaller, completely unreadable number was displayed. Chris Acklam and Simon OG both came in, as the flag had seemed to be waving at them, but both were found innocent and sent on their way. Eventually the culprits were found to be Leigh and Phil Hollins who were both guilty of leaking liquid. Times were obviously tense.

Eventually Keith took pole by four tenths of a second from Rick to lead class A, Phillip McKelvey, also in class A was 9th as his conversion is taking a long time. He is now sporting class A wing mirrors to go with his class A wheels. Peter H who was third fastest, led class B, while somewhat controversially James P was in 4th with Chris A in 5th. Both Chris and Peter had a full oil catch tank by the end of practice indicating potentially serious engine problems. Paul Burry in 6th led class D with Andy Green two tenths of a second behind him, and Simon OG less than a tenth behind Andy! Class C was looking like being closely contended. Adrian VdK led class E in 13th place and Jack class D from 14th place.

After practice Brands Hatch Morgans mechanics and Chas spent hours sorting out Chris’s car, while Techniques had a good go with Peter’s and the leaking Phil’s. Everyone else tried to keep warm and amused. Some racing was even watched, but mostly in motor homes of the grand prix variety.

Morgan supporters who turned out to watch the 750 Roadsports race were treated to the sight and sound of Morgans really fighting their corner against a wide variety of very competitive opposition. Keith and Rick fought each other at the front, and Peter in 5th took a place from a Ginetta when he went off, this time without any help from Peter. Peter then moved into 3rd when he overtook a Porsche, which he managed to keep at bay, although it was all over the back of him, until smoke was seen pouring out of every conceivable orifice of Peter’s engine as he went up Surtees. He was then seen limping into the pits where the car died of terminal engine failure. Rick won the race, with Keith second, so those two had everything to play for as they whipped off their windscreens ready for the MMCC race.

The drivers were kept waiting in the collecting area for ages and as they waited, the rain which had been threatening all day, began to fall as a fine drizzle. As the race started the rain began to fall as heavy drizzle, but this didn’t seem to deter either Keith or Rick who were each determined to win. Keith got the better start, but Rick overtook going down into Paddock Hill Bend, this time avoiding the gravel. Rick held the lead until Keith overtook on the 4th lap and then proved impossible to overtake thereafter.

Back at the grid, where Chris A and Paul Burry were on the third row, Paul made an average start and was unable to lunge forward into the gap left by Peter H’s absence to overtake Chris, instead he had settle for tucking in behind Chris. Andy Green, behind Paul B on the fifth row, made a really good start almost pushing Paul wide at Paddock and then sat on Paul’s bumper for the first few laps with Simon OG in hot pursuit of them both until Andy had a moment at Clearways. He turned the car left but it went straight on, onto the grass and off the wet track. Andy managed to keep going, recovering just in front of Simon OG but Simon’s momentum allowed him to sweep past Andy at Paddock. Paul used the opportunity to get right away.

Leigh in 12th place also made a good start making up two places as he passed Phil Hollins and Paul Chauveau. On the 3rd lap Phil H had a surge of energy and overtook firstly Paul C, and then Leigh. Paul C waited for two more laps to overtake Leigh, who was then overtaken in the by now heavier rain by both Bellingers and Adrian.

The rain, coupled with a strong wind, made conditions difficult as it became hard to read which parts of the track were wet and which were dry, with Clearways seeming to be the worst section. James P in 3rd place was seen to slide straight on here across the grass, but still managed to keep Chris A at bay. As Chris approached this section on the next lap he entered very cautiously and Paul B, who had by now caught up, took this as an open invitation to have his moment of glory. Paul managed to slip his nose inside the new blue beast to get ahead momentarily, only to be out dragged by Chris on the top straight. Paul was looking to try this manoeuvre again on the next lap when fortunately for the higher performance cars the rain stopped and they were able to cautiously put on the power and escape lesser mortals. The canny farmer had however put so much distance between himself and Chris that Chris was unable to catch him up.

Adrian, who had found himself behind Jack, when the latter got a better start, pushed all the way until he found some extra power or outmanoeuvred Jack on the 8th lap. Billy who had spent most of the race behind Adrian also found, and used his extra power to overtake the old man on the penultimate lap, but stayed circumspectly behind Adrian.

Kelvin, who had delayed Billy’s progress for the first two laps spent the remaining ten laps holding back Mary, which meant that he never really managed his objective, which was to catch and overtake Jack. Kelvin finished only three tenths of a second ahead of Mary, which indicates the closeness and the joyful nature of their battle, but two places and miles behind Jack. Kelvin later declared that he was treating Mary to a taste of her own driving by making his car as wide as possible and so preventing her from over-taking.

Keith won the race, his class and fastest lap with Rick in second place. James P, in 3rd, won class B but fastest lap went to Chris A in 4th. Paul B, in 5th won class C and took fastest lap. Adrian came 11th winning both Class E and fastest lap, while Jack came 13th also winning class D and taking fastest lap.

The rain and engine death have certainly made the points situation interesting, so it will be exciting to see what happens at Rockingham on a track, which is new to a high percentage of Morgan drivers in a few weeks time.

Ruth Horsman with thanks to those who faxed her.