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Round 3: Brands Hatch GP - 29th June 2024

Updated: Jul 2

With a record 22,000 tickets pre-sold, the crowds flocked to Brands Hatch on the last weekend in June for the Super Touring Power 2 meeting.

Saturday’s programme raced on the fabulous Grand Prix circuit, and a highlight was the 2 races for the CALM All Porsche Trophy (CAP), racing in a packed programme alongside the Bernie’s V8s and Historic Outlaws field and it’s eclectic mix of high powered sports cars.

49 cars (including reserves) went out for qualifying from the tightly packed paddock, 23 of them CAP Porsches, and Warren Allen in his familiar SP1 Cayman soon established himself at the head of the Porsche contingent. For most of qualifying he was fastest overall, only dropping to 3rd  behind 2 Bernie’s cars at the end, but still 3 seconds quicker than the next Porsche.2nd quickest was Christian Walker, in his newly built and beautifully finished Cayman,  promising more to come as he developed the new car and its set up. Christian was followed by Sam Callahan in the first of the SP2 Boxsters, Jon Walker in his newly re-shelled Boxster, sporting a similar finish and livery to Christian’s Cayman and Stuart Jeffcoate in his rapid 993. Dan Crego was first in SP3 in his 968 ahead of Ed Sampson who just made Qualifying after flight delays on his journey to Brands from Germany.

Three newcomers featured at Brands: ex-BRSCC Porsches racer Kevin Molyneaux driving his newly acquired 987 (left) for the first time as he went out for Qualifying; experienced racer Darren Clayden in a 944 making his CAP debut and qualifying a handy 3rd in SP3; while further back, Jamie Nailard was getting to grips with his new Cayman and qualifying 4th in class. In SP4, Steve Potts qualified on class pole over a second clear of Hugh Peart, although Hugh with his 3rd new engine in 3 races was relieved to have got through the session with a reliable car, and expecting to be a bit closer come the races.Most cars survived Qualifying unscathed although Darren Clayden’s team had to fit a new gearbox mount before the race which involved a quick dash home for the parts, and the repair was completed just in time for race 1.

Race 1

A mass of Bernie’s cars took to the head of the field after the rolling start, with the sole interloper from CAP being Warren Allen’s enthusiastically driven Cayman right in the mix in 3rd place, ahead of the polesitting Lotus Sunbeam. Alas this giant killing interlude came to an end on lap 4 when the Cayman ground to a halt with a suspected seized engine, and Warren took no more part in the weekend’s racing.

This left Christian Walker as the lead Porsche, and he was soon embroiled in a race long dice with the closely matched James Gunn Carter’s SP2 bewinged Boxster for the CAP win. Christian got past on lap 7, and after encountering traffic managed to eke out a gap from James, and took the CAP and SP1 win. James took the SP2 win a few seconds ahead of Jon Walker’s new Boxster, who in turn was harried by Sam Callahan in his Boxster throughout the race.Dan Crego took his now customary win in SP3, but was kept on his toes by Darren Clayden’s 944 who got very close during the mid part of the race, with Stuart Jeffcoate also joining the duelling pair in his rapid 993 before finishing a fine P4 in SP2. He was, in turn, fractions ahead of Jamie McHugh’s and Kevin Molyneaux’s Boxsters. Further back Tom McHugh in his 968 just beat Fern Getino and Brian Richardson’s Boxsters to the line, Tom finishing without a bonnet having seen it flying off on the way into Paddock Bend on lap1.Wil Arif had a brief trip into the Paddock Bend gravel avoiding the spinning Boxster pedalled by Mark Callahan, but managed to keep it going and finish the race. Mark wasn’t so lucky, and his race ended parked against the Paddock tyre wall.

There was close racing all down the field as Porsches mixed it with Bernie’s cars, and one of the most entertaining duels was between the 5 Porsches (911, 2 924s and 2 Caymans) bringing up the tail of the field who finished 7 seconds apart after being tied together throughout. Part of this battle was for the SP4 class win, and Steve Potts prevailed, finishing less than a second in front of Hugh Peart who had the consolation of class fastest lap.

Race 2

41 cars took the rolling start for race 2, 22 of them CAP Porsches with Warren Allen’s Cayman the only non starter. Tom McHugh’s 968 had its bonnet now firmly attached and Mark Callahan’s Boxster had been recovered from the Paddock gravel, needing nothing more than a good clean.

As before, the front of the field was dominated by Bernie’s cars, but there was a strong showing from the CAP field and some spectacular racing ensued. Christian Walker was really getting to grips with the Cayman by this stage, and quickly established himself as lead CAP car just behind the 3rd place bunch of V8s, closing throughout the race and harrying them all the way to finish in P7 overall just 5 seconds off P3. He headed James Gunn Carter, again going well in his Boxster who was hotly pursued by the other Walker car driven by Jon with a V8 TVR between the CAP pair. The midfield was populated by a huge variety of CAP Porsches, notably Dan Crego in the SP3 leading 968 mixing with Sam Callahan’s Boxster and Darren Clayden, who was once again giving Dan something to think about, having led the SP3 class all the way until 2 laps from the end. A couple of seconds down the road Kevin Molyneaux (Boxster), Ed Sampson (968) and Stuart Jefcoate (993) were tied together throughout, finishing 2 seconds apart despite the intervention of some lapped backmarkers.

Again much of the action was towards the back of the field, with some tremendous racing involving Gary Martin, Dom McGhee, Paul Hicks, Kenn van Hauen (left), Hugh Peart, Steve Potts and Jamie Nailard. The latter dropped out of contention after a trip into the gravel while involved in this duel, but still completed the race to take 3rd in SP1. The Hicks/Van Hauen/Peart/ Potts group spent the whole race swapping places, finishing in that order fractions behind Dom McGhee, with Hugh taking the SP4 win this time despite the best efforts of Steve Potts.The trophies were custom designed for this meeting, and very generously provided by new CAP supporter Augment Automotive – a business that provides a complete range of services for Porsche 924, 944 and 968 owners.

Besides the top 3 in each class, there were further awards for the Driver of the Day - won by Paul Hicks who lapped Brands some 18 seconds quicker than his previous best time, and the Best Turned Out car. This was almost impossible to judge given the ever higher standards of car presentation evident across the field, and in an unprecedented outbreak of democracy it was passed to the drivers and supporters to choose a winner. Not surprisingly they opted for Christian Walker’s lovely new Cayman to deservedly win this coveted award.

Report written by John Broadley with photos by Sean Mulcahy.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

What a fantastic day of racing @ Brands Hatch…and captured so well in this race report 👏

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