This is a round-up of how the drivers performed in our Clubman, Clubman+, Pocket Rocket and Classic & Retro Club classes. All four classes are new to Time Attack in 2015. Therefore the fastest drivers in each class would set the first ever lap record in their class, around Brands Hatch Indy. The question is, who would be driving home with their name written in Time Attack history?
New Clubman+ Lap Record!
It was Jonny Roose who grabbed the Clubman+ victory and the lap record at Brands Hatch. He was only third fastest in Clubman+ qualifying (55.162), but when the final arrived so did Jonny’s true pace. He set his best time of the day right at the end of the final, a 53.855. It was the fastest time of the session across all four classes, and Jonny was the only driver across all four classes to dip into the 53s too. An impressive performance.
The brother of Club 4WD Legacy driver Damien, Adrian Bradley joined the fun in his R35 GT-R at Brands Hatch. He enjoyed a battle with Mark Flook in the other GT-R all day long. After qualifying in second place behind Mark with a best of 54.960, Adrian upped his game and reversed those positions in the final. His 54.175 was good enough for second place in Clubman+ but perhaps more importantly, Adrian won the battle of the GT-Rs.
Time Attack regular Mark Flook is still competing in his daily-driven Nissan GT-R. Mark has effectively de-tuned his GT-R to comply with the Clubman+ regs, with a long-term view to bring his heavily-modified Mitsubishi GTO back to Time Attack in the future. Mark qualified in first place with a 54.791, getting the better of Adrian in the other GT-R by just 0.169 seconds! Mark went even faster in the final, setting his fastest time of the day on his last flying lap (54.239) – suggesting he extracted all the performance from his car. Mark took 14 points away from Brands, interestingly the same amount as Jonny Roose. Mark now has a 12 point lead at the top of the Clubman+ table.
Airtec Ford Focus driver Alan Sherpherd finished fourth in both qualifying and the final. His times got faster in every session, and after a best of 56.399 on his last lap in practice, Alan improved to a 56.047 in qualifying. He then bettered that with a 55.742 in the final. Alan takes home the unofficial title of the fastest 2WD entry in Clubman+ at Brands. It’s also worth noting that all of Alan’s best times came on his last flying lap in each session. As we always say, that’s an indication of a driver pushing hard until the end and extracting every last bit of performance from the car.
Jamie’s Lancer Evo III is significantly older than most of the cars in Clubman+, but that didn’t seem to hold him back. The older Lancer Evos are also lighter than their more modern counterparts, so maybe Jamie was able to use that to his advantage because he was on the pace all day. He qualified sixth in Clubman+ with a 57.704 but when the final came he managed to cut a second off his fastest time, setting a 56.775 right at the start of the session. There’s still plenty of speed left in the old Lancer yet.
Warren Greenland was bumped up to Clubman+ at Brands Hatch after destroying the Clubman field in the last round at Snetterton. We have lots of the older Mk5 VXRs in Time Attack but Warren’s is the only Mk7 so it’s an interesting barometer of the car’s capabilities. Warren peaked in qualifying, managing fifth place with an impressive 56.801 (just 0.754s behind Alan Shepherd). However, he appeared to struggle in the final, slipping down the order. He set a 57.933 right at the start of the session but failed to improve upon it, leaving his qualifying time as his fastest time of the day.
Leigh Jordan has performed well so far this year but he’ll be slightly disappointed with his lap times at Brands Hatch. Someone has to be the slowest in every class and unfortunately it was Leigh this round. Even so, he managed to bag some important points, a feat made easier by the fact the single round entries are not awarded points. Of the Championship challengers, Leigh earned 2 points for qualifying (58.243) and 7 points for fourth in the final (57.369). With his good performances at Cadwell Park and Snetterton, Leigh is currently in second place in the overall points table. He’ll be hoping for a better result at Oulton Park on July 11th to keep his race for the Clubman+ title on track.
New Clubman Lap Record!
There was an epic fight at the top of Clubman all day, and it was Alex Newman who came out on top. Alex had swapped to his EK4 Honda Civic VTi for his Single Round Entry at Brands Hatch, after being disappointed with his performance earlier in the year in his S13 Nissan 200SX. Alex clearly enjoyed himself in his 1.6-litre NA Civic, after setting himself a target at the start of the day of a 1-minute lap. Alex was fastest in both qualifying and the final by tiny margins over his nearest rivals, setting the first ever Clubman lap record at Brands Hatch in the process. Not bad for a Single Round Entry! He set a 59.330 in qualifying before beating that with a 59.077 right at the end of the final. An extremely hard-fought win.
Kevin Atkins pushed his Toyota GT86 to second place in both qualifying and the final, but it could have been so much more. He was tantalisingly close to Alex Newman all day. In fact, Kevin was fastest Clubman driver of all in Practice (59.181) – a time that would have earned him first place in qualifying! Unfortunately, Kevin’s pace dropped slightly in qualifying. In general, it was a slower session and Kevin ended up with a best of 1:00.677. He picked the pace up again in the final though, ending up with a best time of 59.243 – just 0.166s behind Alex! It was a great battle and Kevin can be proud of his performance.
The Toyota 2ZZ-GE is an underrated engine, especially within Time Attack circles. We have seen a tiny number of cars over the years that have been powered by the VVTL-i unit originally co-designed by Yamaha. Now we have Se7en Motorsport involved that’s set to change, in both Clubman and Club Pro. Ollie originally tweaked his Corolla T-Sport for sprinting before turning his focus to Time Attack. He was right on the pace early on, second fastest in the warm up and practice sessions. Unfortunately, his clutch let go during the practice session so we never got to see Ollie’s potential realized. Even with traffic and lots of fuel on board, he still set a best of 59.222 in practice, just 0.041s behind Kevin Atkins and 0.172s ahead of the record-setting Alex Newman. A frustrating event for Ollie, particularly because his failure to set a time in both qualifying and the final meant he left Brands without any points. However, his early pace will fill Ollie with confidence for future rounds.
Jon Ellis says he entered Time Attack to see if he could be competitive in the car he drives to work every day. This is what Clubman is all about; minimally-tuned cars driven as fast as you can. The only modifications on Jon’s supercharged Mini Cooper-S is a set of tyres, an air filter, uprated ignition and some safety equipment. He set a 1:02.112 in qualifying and was third fastest Clubman driver in the final (1:01.263). Jon can be very pleased that he leaves Brands Hatch as the Championship points leader in the Clubman class.
Another of the Book Club Racing team, Andrew Alden drove the V6 Vectra hard at Brands Hatch. Possibly too hard! The engine suffered “a few problems” and only just lasted until the final session, so it’s entirely possibly Andrew could have gone faster with a healthier car. As it is, he’ll have to be happy with the 1:01.810 he set in qualifying. We hope to see Andrew at another Time Attack event soon. The BCR team bring a huge amount of fun to the Time Attack paddock and really get what it’s all about, especially at this entry-level end of the class structure.
Sam Fleet had the dubious honour of bringing up the rear in Clubman at Brands Hatch. His Honda Civic is very much a road car, with minimal suspension, braking and engine upgrades. Sam has never done any competitive driving before. After a few trackdays he decided to test himself and Time Attack looked a perfect fit. He’s really enjoyed his single round entries at both Snetterton and Brands Hatch, so we hope to see him again in the near future. On the day, Sam’s best lap surprisingly came in the practice session (1:02.372). He went marginally slower in qualifying (1:03.537) before picking the pace up again in the final with a 1:02.519 right at the end of the session.
New Pocket Rocket Lap Record!
What an epic battle we witnessed at the top of Pocket Rockets! Richard O’Dwyer was the worthy winner in his 1320Mini turbo-converted Cooper S. We suspect Richard’s inaugural lap record will be very hard to beat for future Pocket Rocket drivers. Richard was quickest in the warm up (54.305) and practice (54.503). However, he was outqualified by Stewart Summers and could only managed a 54.661 to take second place. With the provisional lap record in his pocket, it seemed that whoever was fastest in the final would take both the win and probably the lap record too. Richard had been studying video footage of a fast lap all day, and with a map of the circuit on his steering wheel too, you could tell he was fully-focused on victory. Richard went out and pumped in a 54.227 on his very last lap of the day. He’d done it! A total of 14 points, which he desperately needed in his quest to claw his way back up the table after scoring no points in the opening round. More importantly perhaps, he drove home from Brands Hatch with that first ever Pocket Rocket lap record at Brands Hatch.
We’ve been so impressed with Stewart Summers this year. His PlanetSaxx Citroen Saxo isn’t the newest car on the grid, and the Rotrex supercharger attached to his 1.6-litre engine is from the older range too. So how is he so fast!? Stewart has clearly got his car well-sorted and can drive a bit too. He kept Richard O’Dwyer honest all day, beating him in qualifying with a best of 54.348 – the fastest time in qualifying by any competitor in these three classes. That was faster than Jonny Roose’s Evo and both Nissan R35 GT-Rs! A very impressive performance. Stewart just couldn’t make it happen in the final, managing a best of 54.849 for second place and a total of 14 points from the day. Stewart now has a 12-point lead in the Pocket Rocket Championship.
Fastest Single Round Entry of the day was Kyle Ward in his Tuning Developments Toyota Starlet GT Turbo. He set a 55.402 in qualifying and a 55.735 in the final, the third-fastest Pocket Rocket in both sessions. Kyle’s pace is even more impressive when you consider he has a smaller engine than most of his rivals. The forged and turbocharged engine under the bonnet of his Starlet is only a little 1.3-litre! Hopefully Kyle will be back for another S.R.E before the end of the year.
Contrary to the photo above, Airtec Fiesta driver Tim Kite did get his 1320Mini turbo Cooper S pointing in the right direction at Brands Hatch. However, the photo indicates how hard he was pushing all day. Perhaps “no fear” should be Tim’s middle name? Tim recorded a 55.739 in qualifying that earned him third place in the Championship, fourth overall in the Pocket Rocket session. Unfortunatley, Tim then lost a second in the final, dropping to a best of 56.717, which still earned him third place amongst the Championship contenders but fifth across all Pocket Rockets in that session. Tim can be happy in the knowledge he left Brands Hatch with 11 points and is in a provisional third place in the Championship standings, at the half-way stage.
It was a mixed day for Robert Oldman in the Ford Fiesta. A strange boost issue meant he didn’t have full power all day, which made the already difficult task of topping a competitive Pocket Rocket class virtually impossible. Still, he finished the day fourth in his class and his SCC Performance team won a trophy for Best Presented Team too. So what could have been a disastrous day was turned into a trophy and 8 valuable points, leaving Robert in a provisional second place in the Championship heading into Oulton Park on July 11th.
Our Time Attack leader Andy Barnes has been gagging to get behind the wheel and join in the fun, and at Brands Hatch he grabbed the opportunity. Driving our Airtec-prepared Time Attack Championship 10th Anniversary car, Andy set about testing his skills against the class of 2015. Andy is something of a ringer with racing experience behind him. Thankfully for our Pocket Rocket drivers this isn’t racing, it’s Time Attack. If anything, Andy’s presence spurred the other drivers to try even harder; It’s not often you get a chance to get one over on the boss. Thankfully for us, Andy did Time Attack proud. He managed a 57.082 in qualifying (5th place), and a 56.323 in the final (4th place). Who will be behind the wheel of the car next? You’ll have to get yourself to Tunerfest North at Oulton Park on Saturday 11th July to find out!
Sam Weller proved the old Peugeot 106 is still a very effective base for a track weapon. The 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine in his stripped-out Pug features a set of GSXR1000 motorbike throttle bodies and some wild cams. He needs them to compete with the turbo and supercharged rivals in his class. Sam did himself proud with a 58.577 in qualifying and a 59.002 in the final. However, his fastest time of the day came in the practice session (57.898). Perhaps suggesting there was more time left in both Sam and the car in the final session?
Adam Barnett removed the large rear wing from his Mazda MX-5 a while back. He probably wished he still had it when he attacked Paddock Hill bend for the first time at Brands! There were certainly plenty of reports from his classmates about the rear-end of his TR Lane supercharged MX-5 waggling around as Adam pushed on, trying to find traction. He’s partly responsible for that extra power, as Adam maps the Megasquirt engine management himself. He set a best of 58.347 in practice, before peaking in the qualifying session with a 57.995 – good enough for sixth place and his fastest time of the day. He went marginally slower in the final session (58.019) but that was a common story amongst drivers in this session. Perhaps the track was past it’s best. Either that or it was simply the case of 24 drivers trying to find space on the 1.2-mile Indy circuit.
After the all-nighter madness pulled by CTC Performance to get Ali’s car ready last round, Ali arrived at Brands Hatch calm and ready to go. His Rotrex-supercharged Suzuki Swift has lots of potential but we didn’t see it realized this time. Ali has big plans for the future regarding Time Attack, but in the short term he wants to learn the game and get the best out of his Swift. Ali set a 1:01.866 in qualifying, then a 1:01.390 in the final. So although he isn’t where he wants to be just yet, he is consistent and was faster as the day went on.
Classic & Retro Club
New Classic & Retro Club Lap Record!
Simon Taylor had a great battle with Alan Tolley to win Classic & Retro Club, setting the first Brands Hatch lap record in the process during the final. His 57.007 was the 11th fastest time overall in the final session, amongst the 24 cars on track. As Time Attack debuts go, that’s very good indeed. Showing how consistent he was all day, Simon set a 57.772 in the warm up, a 57.473 in practice and also qualified with a 57.050, 10th quickest overall. So he was in the 57s all day and his fastest two times were just 0.043 seconds apart. How’s that for precision driving?
The TnT Racing Sierra isn’t everything it appears to be. Those who know about Sierras might look at the split rear quarter windows and think it’s an XR4x4, which it is. Under the bonnet however, instead of a naturally-aspirated V6 there is a 2.0-litre turbo Cosworth lump with a GT3076 attached to it. We’re lucky to have Alan here with us this year to be honest. He suffered a minor heart attack just before round 1 but is refusing to let that slow him down. With support from his brother Wayne plus his friend and Team Manager Paul Taylor, Alan is picking up the pace once again. He pushed Simon right to the wire at Brands. After qualifying with a 58.305, Alan set a 58.009 in the final, earning him maximum points as Simon isn’t eligible as a Single Round Entry. However, it was the 57.231 Alan set in the morning practice session that was very nearly the new Classic & Retro Club lap record – missing out by just 0.224s! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: these are the fine margins involved in Time Attack competition.
The blue Mk2 Escort might not have been the fastest car at Brands Hatch but it was one of the most popular. Everyone likes an old Escort and Dick’s beautifully-prepared car received lots of admiring glances during the pit-lane walkabout. The Escort earned it’s reputation on the rally stages, and that’s exactly what Dick’s car looks like. With it’s relatively high ride-height and mud-flaps, it’s clear Dick’s car has been built to handle the rally stages and isn’t focused purely on circuits. That being said, Dick stayed on the pace considering the relatively specialized company. He recorded a best of 1:00.370 in qualifying and a 1:00.111 in the final. Both times were third fastest in his class but you have to respect the consistency, indicating he was getting everything he could out of the car on the day.
To catch up on the current 2015 UK Time Attack Championship standings, click here
Our next event is at Oulton Park on Saturday July 11th. You can buy discounted tickets here
It’s not racing.. it’s TIME ATTACK!