Round-up: Elite Motorsport get off to a cracking start at Brands Hatch
- Credit: Archant
Shipdham-based Elite Motorsport could not have been any happier, leaving Brands Hatch with drivers Harry King and James Hedley leading the Ginetta SuperCup and Ginetta Junior Championships respectively.
'Almost a perfect weekend for us.' said King who started the meeting off by stamping his authority on the SuperCup series by claiming pole position.
Rain started to fall as the field assembled for the opening race at the Kent track with most of the Pro-graded drivers sticking with dry weather rubber, apart from Reece Somerfield, whose choice of wet weather tyres proved correct and he comfortably claimed victory.
King held on to second in the Pro class but was demoted to seventh overall in the race by five of the Am-graded racers on treaded tyres.
Somerfield led away race two but King swept past at the second corner to take command and never relinquished the lead to claim his fifth victory in the category.
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Will Burns made good use of race three pole position to take victory, while King fought his way past Somerfield to claim second place to end the weekend with a five-point advantage over the field.
The Mid Norfolk race team are the defending Ginetta Junior title holders and left the opening round in first and second position.
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Hedley qualified for the opening contest in sixth place but ended the opening lap in 10th position before he stormed through the field to take the final place on the podium.
Elite's second driver Tom Emson powered his way up the race two order to secure victory, having started from 12th place on the grid, while Hedley was spun around on the opening lap, dropping to 15th, before scything through the pack to grab second place on the run to the finish line, which gives him a nine-point cushion over team-mate Emson.
King's Lynn racer Alex Brundle, the 2016 European Le Mans LMP3 champion, made a return to the series at the weekend contesting the LMP2 category driving alongside Ryan Cullen.
The local racer took to the wheel of the United Autosports-run Ligier JSP217 for the qualifying session around the Paul Ricard Circuit in France and claimed a brilliant third place on the 41-strong grid.
'Nice result in qualifying for us,' tweeted Brundle. 'The team put together a rapid stop to get me out to deliver the lap. Really happy.'
Cullen started the four-hour event and held seventh at the halfway mark until a spin and a drive-through-penalty, for a track limit infringement, dropped the number 32 car to ninth place.
With just over 90 minutes remaining Brundle took over the driving duties with a late puncture dropping him to 13th place.
'Not the result we wanted,' reflected Brundle. 'Some really unfortunate contact for Ryan at the start gave us some straight line issues. We struggled massively getting the rear tyres to work. Nice qualifying day but a race to forgot.'
Alfa Romeo Championship racer Anthony George, from Harleston, will contest the twin Snetterton races this weekend.
'My modified 156 Turbo still needs some work to get it back on the track so I fancied a go in the Twin Spark class,' he said. 'Unfortunately the first time I will sit in the car will be qualifying so I have a lot to get to grips with it in a very short time, but it should be fun and a challenge.'
James Kell, Joseph Marshall-Birks and Nathan Heathcote shared the spoils in the opening races of the Mazda MX5 Supercup at the Kent track with this weekend's results just as unpredictable.
However, Richard Styrin swept all before him in the twin Porsche Championship races at Brands with his Boxster and it will be hard to prevent him repeating the feat this weekend.
Both the National FF1600 and the Honda Civic Cup will start their season off at the Norfolk venue with racing starting at 1.45pm on Saturday and from 10.05am on Sunday.