Racing: Brands Hatch GT


This was a day out at Brands Hatch. The main feature was the last race of the British GT series. The other big attraction was a general meeting of other Marcos owning bods.
The early arrivers. Unfortunately, I forgot to take some piccies after everyone arrived :-(.
There was never a shortage of admiring passers by :-).

There was quite a good showing including three Mantarays, three Mantis, two LMs, a Mini Marcos and a few more that I can't remember what they were (Mantulas I think?). Plus of course, all their owners. Who are a very friendly bunch of people indeed.

And no, there isn't sail powered car at the back before any one else asks! That is one of the Marcos Club banners that we were proudly flying :-).

After some general chit-chatting, we all wandered off to the paddock to inspect the various beasties that were going to be racing. Again, I forgot to take any pictures of the vast majority of exotic motors. So all you get to see are the two below (one of which isn't even a race car). The display was quite impressive though. Especially as most of the GT cars were in pieces and still being worked on. Not sure what they were doing to it, but the ISL Mantis was doing some engine tests when we passed at one point. To say it was loud would be quite an understatement! A word of warning: never stand behind a GT car when someone revs the engine suddenly. Ouch!.

The Mantis of ISL Motorsport being prepared. Unfortunately, it seemed that all their hard work was for naught as the car retired due to an accident :-(.
Me thinks someone has too much time on their hands! This wee beastie is the Peninsula TVR camp's tyre carrying truck.

Anyone remember the words to 'Ernie, the fastest milkfloat in the west'? :-)

Meanwhile, out on the track...

Some Caterham R400s doing very silly speeds around corners.
Told you they were going fast!
Got him!
And again!
In the narrow bits, they look quite sensible.
But out in the open, they really are quite small cars on quite a big stretch of tarmac.

Other races that day were Minis (yes, original type Minis going far faster and making far more noise than you've ever seen a Mini do before). Formula 3 (single seaters, generally a stepping stone to Formula 1). The F3 race just after lunch was a little odd. The Brazilian Nelson Pique Jnr took the crown. The guy who came second commented that he tried to keep up, realised he was still almost a second/lap slower and gave in! However, the fastest lap was actually set by a third guy who started the race from the pits, went out to do a few fast laps and then retired. Most peculiar behaviour!

The main feature race was of course the last roung of the BRDC British GT Championship. The driver's and manufacturers leaderboard is all Moslers and TVRs. However, there were a couple of Marcos cars running as well. One of which was the TFM team's LM600, unfortunately, they were plagued by mechanical difficulties it seemed. When we wandered around the paddock in the morning, the rear half of the car was missing as they worked on the differential. They managed to sort that out, but then the engine seiezed up apparently. Oh well.

The two Mantis teams did at least manage to start the race. The ISL Motorsport car apparently made contact a TVR and retired. No idea who hit whom or how badly, 'cos I didn't get to see that one :-(. The Glenn Eagling Motorsport car (driving by Daddy Eagling and Baby Eagling) did rather well though. In fact, it came in fourth :-). Yeah!

The Glenn Eagling Mantis (in the full GT class)
The ISL Motorsport Mantis (in the slower GT Cup class).
That annoying yellow flag thing (and the safety car that goes with it) were out far too much!
Note the guy with the Alpha Romeo with the bonnet up doing mid-race repairs!

He got it going again though :-).
I must be hallucinating!
That Mantis is coming third :-)
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

Annoyingly, there was a blindingly fast Porsche that would have won given another five to ten minutes of racing. It had a disastrous pit stop and dropped from first (with a huge lead) to eighth (or there's abouts). It certainly didn't give up though and proceeded to storm past pretty much everything in it's path! A few laps before the final whistle it made it past the Eagling Mantis to drop the Marcos back off the podium. Humph!

One curious side effect of taking a picture of the same car in the same place on consecutive laps with a digital camera is that you get the car's lap time :). The camera records the time each photo is taken, so subtracting one from the previous gives you the fact that the Eagling Mantis was doing between 1:32 (in the middle) and 1:37 (towards the end) per lap. Not sure how this compares to everyone else in the race though! I do recall the aforesaid strange bloke in the F3 race managed a best lap of 1:19, so I guess GT cars aren't quite as fast as single seater F3s (hmmm, not desperately surprising!).

Anyway, here's some of the GT competition...

A TVR (blue/red), Chevrolet Corvette (just visible yellow), another TVR (white) and a Mosler MT900R (silver) all having lapped the poor little red Ferrari. Unfortunately, the yellow flag means they all have to take it easy for a wee while.
The Porsche 911 of Tom Shrimpton. Who was of course the second driver for the Glenn Eagling Mantis until he jumped ship and ended up being lapped by said Mantis :-).
A Morgan Aero 8. A most peculiar looking and sounding car. Classic 1930's sports car looks but a very non-1930's turn of speed. However, it quite definitely sounds like it is farting it's way around the track!
Lotus Elise
There were road TVRs all over the place, it seemed like a never ending stream heading for the carpark in the morning! And of course, blocking the roads leaving again. Grrr!

And that's all folks.


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