7, Jul, 2016
It was billed as America’s 51st state for the week-end and even mixed weather with heavy rain showers couldn’t dampen spirits at the American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch on 11/12 June.Yet it probably did influence the outcome of some of the 15 races run over the Indy circuit. And that certainly includes the three Bernie’s V8 events which featured the TVRs of Boss Racing hotshoes Dean Cook and Tim Davis.
The weather was distinctly iffy on Saturday afternoon when the cars arrived in the assembly area for the first race. Dean Cook had qualified his slinky red Sagaris third with Tim Davis right behind him. But his red Tuscan retained the dry settings it had worn for the preceding Allcomers’ race and there was no time to do more than change the tyres to wets when the heavens opened. The two TVRs were on treaded road tyres which meant they were at a disadvantage compared to the winning Ford Mustang of Steven Wood. Even so, Tim finished fourth and Dean fifth.
The second race was also wet but Dean was on particularly fine form. He finished second just behind the winning Mustang and set fastest lap. Tim was fifth in a car which he’d just sold and was now driving with appropriate circumspection. Conditions were dry for the third and final race when Tim seemed to have put aside his earlier reservations. Either that or he was intent on showing the car’s new owner that he’d made a good choice. From fifth position on the grid he burst through to take the lead on the fourth lap, holding it until the sixth when Dean took over.
He led until lap 12 when the inevitable happened and the Mustang assumed a lead it wasn’t to lose. But it was close at the flag with Dean just over a second adrift. Tim was eight seconds further back. Dean again set fastest lap. Under the circumstances both drivers had done very well but I couldn’t help thinking that if Dean had been using slicks he’d have been two seconds quicker and lapping around the 49-second mark.
Tim and his Tuscan were having a particularly active week-end. Besides the three V8 thrashes they also lined up for the two Allcomers’ races. Also taking part was the ever-improving Rob Grant with his Caterham C400. He qualified seventh, with Tim eighth, and finished fourth with Tim sixth.
We gambled on the third race being run in dry conditions but by the time the cars were on their warm-up lap the rain had started. We called Tim in for more suitable rubber but changeable conditions meant further stops were required and by the time the flag fell Tim had managed only eight laps and wasn’t therefore classified as a finisher. I’ll have to admit it: weather forecasting probably isn’t my thing!Rob Grant, on the other hand, was able to put in a solid performance to net another fourth place in which Caterhams and Radicals shared the track with saloons and road-going sports cars.
Our next event is the Classic Sports Car Club’s meeting at the Spa circuit in Belgium. So we’re busy preparing the two TVRs and four Caterhams we’ll be taking to this wonderful classic circuit. Can’t wait! See you when we return.