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23 September 2012 - Brands Hatch Indy

Dean Forward takes sodden Brands Hatch from Kary and Armer

Historic Formula 3 Brands Hatch Indy

Sunday September 23rd 2012 

Despite the fact that the Dijon meeting was less than two weeks away, a good entry of sixteen cars arrived for this double header. Simon Armer was making his debut with the ex John Counsell Petonyer March 703, while Mark Linstone’s Brabham BT21 was making its’ first appearance; final touches being applied on Saturday night. We lost Clas Muller after engine problems in Fraiday testing.

The timing sheet describes the conditions as ‘sun/dry’ however it was anything but, as the rain commenced as the cars left the assembly area; Dean Forward was quickest in the greasy conditions just ahead of Stuart Tizzard, those two being the only two in the 1.07s. Armer settled in quickly to take third ahead of Chris Holland, Leif Bosson and Keith Messer, Tim Kary and Jim Chapman completed the group of six cars in the 1.08s. Steve Seaman in his familiar Brabham BT21 was next up just ahead of Mark Witherspoon’s superb 1966 Tecno; Jim Timms and Rene Ligonnet headed Mark Linstone’s Brabham. Nigel Miller was having his last outing in his familiar Brabham, as he has decided to retire, he will be much missed. The Tecnos of Geoff O’Nion and Peter Froude rounded off the grid.

Between qualifying and the first race, the heavens opened and those who had them fitted their rain tyres. Conditions were atrocious for the start, but out of the spray appeared Chris Holland (on ‘dry’ tyres!), Chris had angled his car on the grid to take advantage of the Brands Hatch topography, found some grip and with it the lead. His glory lasted as far as Graham Hill bend where he encountered a small lake which led to a massive spin, thankfully he was avoided by the following cars. Dean Forward took over the lead which he was to hold to the flag, behind him came Stuart Tizzard who held a small lead over Armer, Bosson, Kary and Chapman. Conditions were truly dreadful, and Nigel Miller pulled in on the second lap, at the same time we lost O’Nion at Paddock where a huge spin ended in the barriers, fortunately without too much damage. Armer and Kary found a way past Tizzard and commenced a stirring battle which lasted for most of the remainder of the race, at one point Armer was almost alongside Kary on Bottom Straight, when they both hit the river running across the track, fortunately no contact was made, but discretion suggested that there would be other races, so Simon eased back to finish third.

Chris Holland was next to pull in, followed by Messer and Witherspoon; conditions were that bad. Meanwhile Tizzard held fourth, ahead of Timms and Bosson, Linstone brought home in eighth ahead of Seaman, Froude and Ligonnet.

At this point racing stopped for a couple of hours because of circuit conditions; eventually a shortened programme of races took place, with the second HF3 race cancelled.

Next outing is Dijon for another double header.