Round Three Report
Brands Hatch – 27th June 2010
Last weekend’s round three of the fiercely contested Time Attack Series at Brands Hatch saw Steve Guglielmi claim his first outright victory of the season. Driving his ultra-quick Lotus Exige, he was able to keep the winner of the first two rounds Gareth Lloyd at bay, setting a time 0.617 seconds quicker than the Car Planet Racing Mitsubishi driver.
Bathed in sunshine and with temperatures reaching 30 degrees, the midsummer Time Attack event saw 1000s of spectators descend on Brands Hatch last Sunday – despite the England World Cup match taking place in the afternoon. Utilising the ’Indy’ circuit, the day also featured the Pirelli European Drift Championship and the Modified Live ‘Summertime Special’ show, both adding to the spectacle of the occasion.
Because of the hot weather, unsurprisingly none of the Time Attack Series lap records were broken, although it was interesting to note that all but one of the classes was won by a non-Japanese car – an unusual turn of events nowadays and a reflection of the current tuning scene in the UK.
Having won two rounds out of two until last weekend, it was beginning to look as through Lloyd was unbeatable this season, but with Guglielmi posting a time of 49.031 seconds on his second flying lap, it was enough to secure him his first ever outright Time Attack Series victory of the year. However, with a 49.648 Lloyd wasn’t far behind and did his title hopes no harm at all by claiming second place.
Third fastest on the day at 50.063 was the ‘one-hit wonder’ entry of Simon Norris in another of his distinctive Mitsubishi creations. But as he was ineligible to score points, the last place on the podium went to the second CPR Evo of Jamie Nicholls, who set a time of 50.757.
Other notable performances in the Pro-Class came from Gavin Renshaw, who brought his Lateral Performance Impreza home in sixth and won the SIDC (Subaru Impreza Drivers Club) trophy, whilst Robin Duxbury made an impressive Time Attack Series debut driving his Redbrick Cyber Racing Mitsubishi by finishing eighth overall.
“It’s great to finally win a round of this year’s Time Attack Series”, said a delighted Guglielmi at the finish. “It was a tough task against the two CPR cars, but I think the conditions favoured us today and although we didn’t break any lap records, I’m very pleased with the way things went.’
In the category for cars with fewer modifications to those running in the Pro-Class, an inspired drive of 51.066 by Kevin Horsley in the Scooby Clinic Impreza not only rewarded him with fifth fastest time of the day, but it was more than enough to secure the Club-Pro honours this time around.
Second in the category went to Shane Smith, the TR Racing Nissan Skyline GT-R on the pace with a 52.378 and looking like he could well be a class winner before the season is out, whilst Russ Paton was third fastest of the Club-Pro runners in his Mitsubishi at 52.631.
With grip levels high and the twists and turns of the Brands Hatch ‘Indy’ circuit favouring cars with agile handling, the class for nearer-to-standard cars saw rear-wheel-drive machinery at the top of the time sheets.
Jamie Wilson took full advantage of the conditions and put his nimble Lotus Exige in front of the rest with a 52.187. Just 0.336 seconds behind was the Toyota Supra of Steve Linton who in-turn lapped 0.751 faster than that of third-placed Matthew Webb in his Mazda RX7.
There were also hotly contested battles in the other classes, with Warren Kelly bringing his Escort Cosworth home first in the four-wheel-drive category – his Imperial Blue supported car one of four Cosworths competing on the day. Another excellent performance from Fiona Kindness driving her R32 Skyline rewarded her with second in the 4×4 class, ahead of Scott Robinson who was third in his Impreza.
The naturally aspirated class for non-turbo cars revealed a familiar podium, with Mark Pollard’s crowd-pleasing Metro first, Jeff Mileham in his Lotus Elise second and Paul Hughes bringing his Honda Integra home in third. Once again, Bo Neilsen proved he and his Astra VXR are the force to be reckoned with in the front-wheel-drive class, whilst behind him Nigel Brown and David Ward proved that Minis should not be under-estimated by finishing second and third respectively.
Making a guest appearance on the day were the two awesome Nissan GT-Rs of the Sumo Power GT team. Taking time out from their busy FIA GT1 World Championship schedule, Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes drove a series of demonstration laps, whilst in the paddock the crowds had the chance to see the 600bhp machines at close quarters.
Also unique to this event was the launch of Cosworth’s Impreza STi CS400. This is the first time the iconic British tuning company has launched a new road car in 14 years and it was also the first time the 395bhp Subaru had been seen in public.
Competitors now have a five-week break to prepare themselves for round four of the Time Attack Series, which takes place on 1st August at the technically demanding – and driver’s favourite – track of Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.
The Time Attack Series is sponsored by: Sumo Power, Kleers, Pirelli, Cosworth, K-Sport, SuperPro, Toyo Tires, BC Suspension, Speedhunters.com, HKS, HEL Performance, Samco Sport, Blitz and Santa Pod Raceway.
2010 Time Attack Series Calendar
24 April: Oulton Park
16 May: Knockhill
27 June: Brands Hatch
1 August: Cadwell Park
10 October: Snetterton