TOCA supports in action as national motorsport mourns loss of marshal

National motorsport came together over the weekend to mourn the death of marshal Rob Foote following an accident at Brands Hatch. Racing took place at the Kent circuit the following day, while TOCA supports including the Porsche Carrera Cup and British F4 were in action at Oulton Park

TOCA supports in action as national motorsport mourns loss of marshal

Tragedy overshadowed the British Automobile Racing Club meeting at Brands Hatch last weekend when a crash during the opening Pre-’93/Pre-’03 Classic Touring Car race on Saturday contributed to trackside marshal Rob Foote sustaining fatal injuries.

The incident took place after two cars collided and one was launched into a series of violent rolls before hitting the marshal post along the Brabham Straight. The race was immediately halted and emergency services were on the scene within seconds. The remainder of Saturday’s track activity was cancelled, while a revised timetable was organised for Sunday, with the Pre-’66 Touring Car and Britcar Trophy contests among the highlights.

Former British Touring Car driver Alan Greenhalgh stormed to victory in a dry opening Pre-’66 encounter in his Ford Falcon, but he admitted his success was “hollow” in the wake of Saturday’s events. Robyn Slater (Ford Anglia) claimed second after powering around the outside of Barry Sime’s Morris Mini Cooper S at Paddock.

Sime, hampered by throttle issues in race one, benefited from a change in weather conditions to take a lights-to-flag win in the second race. Neil Bray came home second on the road in his Austin Mini Cooper, but was later handed a 10-second penalty for a false start. John Davies was the grateful beneficiary in his similar car, taking the runner-up spot in his first race at Brands for 27 years. The damp conditions also helped James Ibbotson take an overall podium finish in his Hillman Imp.

Rain was also falling at the start of the first Britcar Trophy race. The initial stages were dominated by the BMW 1 Series of Kevin Clarke (sharing with Simon Baker) until a suspected electrical glitch caused the car to cut out on the run to Druids on lap 26 of 45. Clarke also overshot his pit seconds later as he came in to have the car checked. Axel van Nederveen, driving solo in his Ginetta G56 GTA, came through to claim the spoils ahead of Mark Lee’s similar G56.

Alan Greenhalgh (Ford Falcon), Brands Hatch 2021

Alan Greenhalgh (Ford Falcon), Brands Hatch 2021

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Baker and Clarke bounced back to win race two by almost a lap, as Lee withstood a late challenge from the BMW M3 E46 of Jasver Sapra/Bryan Bransom to seal another runner-up spot.

The sole Pre-’83 Touring Car event was won by Mark Lucock in his Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 after a fine defensive drive helped him keep the similar machine of multiple category champion Stephen Primett at bay. Poleman Mike Luck (BMW E21 320) recovered from a poor start to make the lead battle a three-way tussle in the closing laps, but he was forced to settle for third.

Three drivers also battled for victory in the single Junior Saloon event. Harvey Caton, Ruben Hage and series leader Charlie Hand were all in contention for victory when a heavy rain shower soaked the track at Clearways. All three slid wide on the greasy surface on the final tour, but Hage recovered his composure the quickest to defeat Caton on the run to the line.

Gary Prebble (Honda Civic EG) won Sunday’s Pre-’93/Pre-’03 race after gearbox issues sidelined closest rival AJ Owen in his Type R, but it was the words of runner-up Dave Griffin (BMW E36 M3) that summed up a sad weekend. “We are all devastated by what happened yesterday,” he said. “Our thoughts are all with the marshals.”

Oulton Park TOCA: Hanafin and Jewiss steal the headlines again

Lorcan Hanafin, Porsche Carrera Cup, Oulton Park 2021

Lorcan Hanafin, Porsche Carrera Cup, Oulton Park 2021

Photo by: Porsche

For the second event in a row, pre-season Porsche Carrera Cup GB title favourites Dan Cammish and Harry King failed to win either race as once again Lorcan Hanafin and Kiern Jewiss underlined their talent with an excellent win apiece.

Hanafin led throughout the opener from pole but it was far from an easy victory for the JTR youngster as he had Cammish in his shadow. The double Redline champion – whose weekend did not get off to the best of starts with him being given a four-point championship deduction following an investigation of two Brands Hatch incidents – was all over the back of Hanafin but unable to make a move.

Cammish did initially look set to lose his second-placed finish due to a 10-second penalty for being out of position at the start, but he was able to successfully appeal this, arguing he had followed a marshal’s instruction.

Further back, Richardson Racing’s Will Martin grabbed an impressive podium, while King’s progress from seventh on the grid after a disjointed, rain-affected qualifying was limited. He had made two places on the opening lap but found Martin a tougher nut to crack, before then getting a penalty that demoted him to sixth for a robust move on Jewiss late on.

Kiern Jewiss, Porsche Carrera Cup, Oulton Park 2021

Kiern Jewiss, Porsche Carrera Cup, Oulton Park 2021

Photo by: Porsche

Jewiss was drawn on pole for the reversed-grid second race and this was an intriguing nail-biter as the top five were together for much of the encounter. But a frustrated Hanafin was not part of this group as a brilliant initial start left him on the outside through Old

Hall and onto the grass, where he spun back across the track and collected Will Bratt at Cascades. “I’ve had three bad race twos now,” said Hanafin, who was at least pleased with his qualifying pace – him and Cammish being nearly seven tenths faster than the rest.

With the top five running so close, inevitably there would be some shuffling and it was Cammish who went for a move first. But his attempts to pass Martin at Island and the chicane backfired as King snuck ahead – half on the grass – up Clay Hill. This broke the pack up and Jewiss edged clear, with Lewis Plato just clinging on to second from Martin.

All of that means it is Jewiss who enjoys the narrowest of points leads, with both Hanafin and Cammish a solitary marker behind in what is set to be an intriguing scrap for the rest of the season.

Oliver Barker, Mini Challenge, Oulton Park 2021

Oliver Barker, Mini Challenge, Oulton Park 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

It has to be one of the most bizarre ways of taking your maiden Mini Challenge win. Oliver Barker suffered a frightening roll after colliding with the Cascades barriers on the restart of the second race at Oulton Park, yet the result was taken from the first stoppage meaning Barker was declared the winner.

Jim Loukes grabbed the lead from polesitter Sam Weller on the initial start but the pair’s battling into Island allowed Barker to dive ahead of them both. Weller then passed Loukes at Lodge before, three laps later, Loukes ran slightly wide out of Old Hall onto the grass and into the barriers, with the angle of the impact then sending him into a series of barrel rolls and leading to a red flag.

Third-starting Dan Zelos brilliantly grabbed the lead on the restart but this did not last even half a lap before Barker ran slightly wide out of Cascades and, as he rejoined, tangled with Weller. This sent him into the barriers on the inside and he rolled back across the track, the pack miraculously avoiding him.

Barker emerged unhurt but that marked the end of the race. With officials deeming the result to be the order from lap three of the first start, it therefore meant Excelr8 driver Barker was victorious from Weller (Hybrid Tune) and Zelos. The Barker/Weller crash was investigated but no action was taken.

Earlier, Max Bird was triumphant in the calmer first contest. Bird, who was sixth in race two, led throughout but had Excelr8 team-mate and title rival Dan Zelos on his tail during the opening half before Zelos put a wheel on the grass exiting the chicane and it instantly gave Bird a near four-second advantage, which he duly converted to a clear win. Weller was third on the road, but a false-start penalty relegated him to seventh and promoted Jason Lockwood to an all-Excelr8 podium.

“It’s easy to ease off too much or still push too much and make a mistake,” said Bird, who paid tribute to his team after they fixed his differential on the eve of qualifying. “The car was getting quite lairy into Turn 1 so I did ease off a little in the last few laps. I wanted the fastest lap as well but you can’t win them all!”

Nevertheless, Bird is up to second in the standings, although Zelos’s race-two podium meant he actually increased his advantage over Bird by two points.

Joseph Loake, British F4, Oulton Park 2021

Joseph Loake, British F4, Oulton Park 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Joseph Loake was a happy young bloke as he made the short trip home from Oulton Park to Macclesfield, thanks to a dominant win and a third place in the two significant British F4 races at Oulton Park.

Apart from a win at Thruxton, reigning Fiesta Junior champion Loake had poor results over the opening three rounds. No one had an answer to James Hedley in a tricky qualifying session, in which wet-weather tyres narrowly had the edge over slicks, but Loake shadowed JHR team-mate Matthew Rees throughout the opener, as Rees in turn piled the pressure on series leader Hedley’s Fortec Motorsport car, but without finding an opening.

Hedley had a poor start and opening lap in the finale to drop to fifth, and Loake surged clear while the rest tried to pass Eduardo Coseteng. The Filipino hung on well, before Peruvian Matias Zagazeta – hobbled by electrical woes in the first two races – breached his defences at Old Hall with four laps remaining.

Roman Bilinski then followed suit with a lovely move at Cascades, as Coseteng eventually fell to seventh behind Dougie Bolger and the two main title battlers, Rees and Hedley. Rees this time got the better of their fight when Hedley ran wide at Old Hall on the penultimate lap.

A bad qualifying set McKenzy Cresswell up nicely for the reversed-grid race, and he surged from fifth to lead by the hairpin on the opening lap. Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak also passed poleman Thomas Ikin, who thereafter stayed impervious to Abbi Pulling, who’d run slicks in qualifying.

Tom Hibbert, Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Oulton Park 2021

Tom Hibbert, Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Oulton Park 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Tom Hibbert enjoyed a near-perfect weekend in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Oulton Park, while key title rival Adam Smalley had one to forget. Qualifying did not quite go the way of the Rob Boston racer as a red flag left Hibbert down in fifth. But he emerged victorious in the opener after a great start catapulted him to second out of Old Hall and he then shadowed Smalley home.

But the Elite Motorsport driver picked up a combined 15 seconds of track limits penalties that dropped him to 12th in the final result and dented his title charge.

Hibbert admitted he was surprised to see a huge 1.5s lead on the restart after an early safety car in race two, as Reece Somerfield was caught out. Somerfield then proved to be a cork in the bottle and it was not until three laps from home that his defences were breached, Josh Rattican making a sensational move to grab second down the inside of Cascades.

But Hibbert had long since scampered clear by this point. His winning margin was 6.2s and, crucially for the title fight, Smalley could only progress to sixth from 11th on the grid, so fell 36 points adrift.

Liam McNeilly, Ginetta Junior, Oulton Park 2021

Liam McNeilly, Ginetta Junior, Oulton Park 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

The trip to Cheshire was not a particularly memorable one for the Ginetta Junior field as just four true racing laps were completed amid a red flag in its sole contest and multiple delays elsewhere.

Rookie Josh Rowledge produced comfortably his best qualifying performance of the season to land pole – his previous highest being fifth – and he kept the lead at the start, while Callum Voisin passed the fast-starting Max Dodds to grab second from fourth on the grid in just over a lap. But the race was then neutralised with Zac Meakin off at Old Hall and, as repairs were needed to the barriers, a red flag was shown.

This left a four-lap restart and Liam McNeilly was the driver on the move as he quickly dispatched Josh Miller for third and then grabbed the lead out of the chicane when Rowledge and Voisin were delayed battling each other.

McNeilly just stayed ahead throughout the remainder, but the top six were separated by a second at the flag. McNeilly’s win gifted the Fox driver the points lead as erstwhile table-topper Seb Hopkins was only eighth. With no time to run race two, Knockhill is set to feature considerably more Ginetta Junior action as four races are now scheduled.

Mallory Park BARC: Wolfenden fights for top honours in FF1600

Northern and Super Classic FF1600, Mallory Park 2021

Northern and Super Classic FF1600, Mallory Park 2021

Photo by: Mick Walker

Jack Wolfenden consolidated his advantage at the head of the Northern and Super Classic Formula Ford Championship’s Pro class with a victory and a second place at Mallory Park.

It wasn’t a day without drama, however. In the opener, Firman driver Wolfenden tracked James Hadfield’s Van Diemen at the initial getaway, but the race was halted to recover Richard Ketterman’s broken Reynard. Wolfenden made a poor restart, falling behind the venerable Merlyn of Hadfield’s father Simon. The Firman and Merlyn made contact on Stebbe Straight, sending Hadfield Sr spinning and other cars off in avoidance, including frontrunner Peter Daly’s Van Diemen, which retired.

Wolfenden continued a long way adrift of Hadfield Jr, who eventually won by seven seconds. Nigel Dolan dived ahead of Paul Mason’s Swift at Lake Esses on lap nine of 13 but, when Mason tried to reverse the positions on the final tour, he left the door open for Benjamin Cochran (Van Diemen) and Nick Barnes (Swift) to claim fourth and fifth.

Wolfenden won the second race, driving around the outside of Hadfield Jr at Gerard’s Bend on lap six after a similar attempt failed a lap earlier. Cochran passed Dolan for third position at the same corner, with Dolan being shuffled back to sixth at the hairpin. The race ended chaotically, however, with a caution period instigated when Alan Fincham’s Van Diemen shed a wheel. A restart was anticipated when the safety car lights went out, but it stayed on track and, in the confusion, Stuart Kestenbaum and Leanne McShane collided, causing a red.

Alex Cursley dominated the opening Hyundai Coupe Cup race, surging to a 7s victory. A fierce battle raged for second, with Wayne Rockett getting the better of Alistair Dendy – in one of the few Gen3 models on the grid – at Gerard’s Bend a couple of tours from the end.

Cursley won again later, adding to his Thruxton double, but this time Rockett applied pressure throughout, finishing less than 1s adrift. Neale Hurren was third, surviving a late threat from Matt Mitter.

Alex Cursley, Hyundai Coupe Cup, Mallory Park 2021

Alex Cursley, Hyundai Coupe Cup, Mallory Park 2021

Photo by: Mick Walker

It was a somewhat destructive day in the Pickup Truck Racing championship, and points leader Reece Jones didn’t avoid the chaos. He was part of a multi-truck shunt at the end of the first lap of race one that ruled him out of the rest of the day’s action, while several other competitors ended their race in the Turn 4 guardrail.

After the inevitable stoppage, Dan Petters led the restart but was soon usurped by George Turiccki. The reigning champion was still ahead when red flags flew again, some trucks having been damaged when a tyre used to mark the edge of the track at T4 found its way onto the circuit.

Race two developed into a four-truck lead battle, with Turiccki and Allen Cooper the main combatants. After a couple of changes, Cooper made a crucial move at Turn 3 on lap 21 of 25, with Turiccki’s hopes of fighting back thwarted by backmarkers. Mark Willis completed the podium, ahead of Michael Smith.

Pete Sparrow kept up his unbeaten record in this year’s 2CV championship. He led the opening race throughout, but took four laps to find his way to the front of the second contest, in which Luca Proietti stole second from Kris Tovey on the final lap.

Reports by Mark Libbeter, Stephen Lickorish, Marcus Simmons and Ian Sowman. Photography by Gary Hawkins, Jakob Ebrey Photography/Motorsport Images and Mick Walker. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine

Pete Sparrow, 2CV, Mallory Park 2021

Pete Sparrow, 2CV, Mallory Park 2021

Photo by: Mick Walker

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