- Created on Monday, 18 July 2016 13:39
Brands Hatch produced some spectacular racing as the season reached its halfway point, and adding to the action was the introduction of two bonus races where the top eight started in a reverse grid format. Proving to be one of the most competitive weekends of the year so far, four different winners emerged from the four races.
Taking his first circuit racing win, former sprinting star Bradley Hobday took the victory in Race 1 having led from the start, however he was chased all the way by Rob Sayell with pole sitter Dan Clowes taking third. Lee Morgan finished just outside the podium places to take fourth, only just over a tenth of a second behind Clowes.
The first of the reverse grid races of the weekend fell to Lee Morgan after he got a great start and took the lead from a fifth place starting position within the first few corners. However, during this first lap the race was marred when there was slight contact between Jason Dixon, who started pole, and Kristian Prosser. This resulted in Jason Dixon’s weekend being cut short with extensive damage to his car and the safety car being deployed for a number of laps.
At the restart, Morgan again held his lead which was built up to just over four seconds by the chequered flag. Paul Butcher held onto second after a race long battle with Hobday - only three tenths of second the gap between them by the end of the race. After ending up in the gravel at Paddock Hill bend during race one, former champion Andrew Dunn produced an outstanding drive to go from starting dead last to finishing a credible fourth.
Dunn looked to be the man to beat in Race 3 having led the opening laps of the race however, damaged suspension caused the Scotsman to pull out into the gravel trap at Clearways, handing the lead to Sayell. After taking pole for the race, Morgan gave chase ahead of Hobday and Clowes until the safety car was again deployed to aid the recovery of Dunn’s car. However, after an additional recovery vehicle was needed to prevent the car being further dragged through the gravel, the red flags came out to end the race. Sayell took the win under the safety car ahead of Morgan, Hobday and Clowes.
Race 4 produced a popular winner as Butcher took his first win of the season. Having been pipped to the flag twice this season on the very last laps, Butcher took his first victory of the year from a starting position of fourth, delivering a great start and opening first lap. Despite piling on the pressure, Hobday couldn’t do anything about Butcher’s lead but again finished on the podium and took second ahead of Dunn. Dunn again head to start at the back of the grid after his Race Three DNF but put in another great drive, battling his way through the field to finish third. Morgan had a disappointing end to his weekend as after running in third and catching the leaders a wheel bearing issue forced the 2013 Champion into the pit lane. Sayell put in another consistent drive to finish fourth.
Other notable drives of the weekend included Bryony King, who had arguably her best weekends running so far, and Jon Hunter who scored his highest result of the season with a fifth place finish in the final race. However overall it was Hobday who had the strongest results, winning Race 1 and finishing on the podium in each of the others.