14, Jun, 2015
What a difference a week makes! On our last visit to Brands it was wet and cold and Dean Cook retired. Last Sunday it was warm and sunny and Dean was the hero of the hour with two dominating performances.
The spectacular and well-attended American Speedfest, the third in the series, included two rounds of the popular Bernie’s V8 Challenge, plus two for SpeedFest Silhouettes in which drivers could earn points towards the 2015 Avon Intermarque Championship.
In the first silhouettes dash our man Paul Adams in his Mercedes SLK look-alike took seventh spot on the grid and finished sixth. He started the second from the front row but was unable tom capitalise on this because a first lap accident at Druids caused him to take evasive action. Out came the safety car meaning that when racing re-started Paul had a fair bit of work to do and he clawed his way up to eighth at the finish.
Dean, meanwhile, had dominated the V8s, heading the growling, grumbling, snarling, popping and banging field from the start of both rounds. In the first he was passed by Tim, although the silver TVR Tuscan retired on the ninth lap. This left the red Cerbera free to clear off at the head of the pack to a win a fast and furious race that had to be red-flagged after 16 of the planned 20-minutes.
Sadly, the battle between the two TVRs had been cut short when Tim was forced to pull off. His engine had started making “clanking noises” when suspected lubrication system troubles intervened, causing him to miss the second round. Dean sportingly offered Tim the loan of his car for the race but the Brands officials ruled that he couldn’t compete in a car he hadn’t driven that day. “Far enough, I suppose,” was Tim’s rueful comment.
He absence left the way clear for Dean to lead the second 30 minute race which also featured a mandatory pit stop. He was kept honest first by the Lim/James Ram Cobra and then by surprisingly rapid Sunbeam Tiger of William Smallridge
Despite the heavy traffic Dean appeared to have matters well in hand. “It’s been a great day,” was his comment from the top step of the podium, as well it might after such a totally convincing performance.
As ever, both the Brands Bernie’s V8 rounds were characterised by a large and varied entry featuring British, American and Anglo-American machinery ranging from TVRs and MGs to Mustangs and amazing V8-motivated Mk 1 Escorts.
But Dean had the measure of them all, as did Tim while he lasted. Dean set fastest lap in both rounds and in fact, he and Tim were the only drivers to lap within 52 seconds.
Ah, yes, Tim. With his next outing being at Spa in three weeks’ time it’s not hard to guess how the Boss Racing team will be spending the intervening time. Well, it is what we do.