Milltek Sport Civic Cup
Rounds 12 & 13
Brands Hatch II – 25th September 2022
Wins for Bailey and Thackeray at Brands Hatch close up championship chase, as Jeakins takes two in the Production Class
The second visit to Brands Hatch this season for the Milltek Sport Civic Cup saw rounds 13 and 14 of the 16-round championship for Honda Civic Type Rs manufactured between 2001 take place in front of 1000s of spectators at an event designed to celebrate Japanese automotive culture, Go Japan!
In the first of the 15-minute encounters, Morgan Baily converted his pole position into a fourth victory of the season, with Dan Thackeray taking his third in a race that was disrupted by an opening lap incident and the consequent appearance of the safety car for a proportion of the time remaining. In the Production class for cars with fewer modifications, Alfie Jeakins continued his winning ways by scoring victory in both outings.
Once again, the effectiveness of the championship’s controlled technical regulations were endorsed when the time sheets showed the first eight cars separated by just 0.567 of a second!
Following the emergence of the red flag halfway through the 15-minute session, it was Bailey (MJB Motorsport) who went quickest by 0.074 around the 1.208-mile Indy version of the circuit, followed by second in the championship Matt Luff (Area Motorsport), with Jack Harding (Jack Harding Motorsport) third.
Current championship leader and twice-winner at Brands Hatch in June Alistair Camp (Area Motorsport) found himself a slightly surprising fourth, with Dan Thackeray (Motion Motorsport) four thousandths of a second behind in fifth.
Loui Hounsell (Jeakins Race Preparation) was the best of the Production runners in, with teammate and class championship leader Jeakins second and Simon Welch (Team Squelch) third.
Race 1 – Round 13
Bailey made the most of his pole position status as the lights went out and headed the field into turn one, Paddock Hill Bend, closely followed by Luff. Behind them, Camp and Thackeray tangled with a slower starting Harding, who did well to hang onto third place on the run down Paddock Hill.
Will Redford (Pro Alloys Racing) was one of a number of drivers who struggled with cold tyres at Druids Hairpin, sliding wide and then re-joining after losing a handful of places, whilst his teammate Owen Hillman found himself sideways across the track following contact with Production Class pole-sitter Hounsell, both ending their race in the pits at the end of the first lap.
Whilst the top three were locked in battle, Thackeray found his way past Camp to take fourth place, closely followed in sixth and seventh by Harvey Caton (JWB Motorsport) and Max Edmundson (Area Motorsport). Going into Paddock Hill bend at the start of lap four, Harding made a move on Luff but carrying too much speed, slid off the track and into the gravel trap on the outside of the corner.
Fortunately, he managed to keep momentum across the loose surface, albeit now in seventh place, which quickly became six when he squeezed past Edmundson a lap later – and then Caton two laps after that. Then, with five minutes to go, guest driver with the Pro Alloys team Josh Harvey went straight on at the infamous Paddock Hill Bend, ending his race in the barriers on the outside of the track.
The top five positions held-fast for the remainder of the race, seeing Bailey score his fourth win of the season ahead of Luff, who set the fastest lap. Thackery held off the late challenges of Camp, with Harding fifth, Edmundson sixth, Redford seventh, Daniel MacDonald (Kinetic Motorsport) eighth and Jordan Brennan (TSR Powered by Liqui Moly UK) ninth, as Jeff Alden (Matrix Motorsport) rounded off the top ten. In the Production Class, it was business as usual for Jeakins.
Race 2 – Round 14
With the top ten positions from the race one dictating the top ten grid positions for race two, in reverse order, Alden found himself on pole position for the second time this season. A blistering start by Redford saw him take the lead at Paddock Hill Bend, closely followed by Brennan, who was then passed by Thackeray and Edmondson at Druids.
As others tried to muscle their way to the front, Alden fell victim to their efforts and as cars streamed through Clearways for the first time, he was hit from behind and then collected by Matt Cripps who was trying to stay out of trouble and get past on inside of the corner.
Harding also had a moment and visited the gravel for the second time, this time on the outside of Clark Curve, forcing him to re-join at the back of the field. With Alden’s car now minus its front right-side suspension, the safety car was deployed whilst recovery crews did their best to remove the car as quickly as possible.
Racing resumed with just four minutes left on the clock and, as the safety car pulled-off Redford slid wide, allowing Thackeray, Edmundson and Bailey to close up. Within the next lap, Bailey, then Camp and Luff went past Edmundson as they battled to make the most of the time remaining.
Out front, Redford still appeared to be struggling for grip, which allowed Thackeray to get alongside on the run into Paddock Hill Bend for the penultimate lap, a move that forced Redford wide on the exit.
Bailey and then Camp were also able to find their way past Redford, his race ending in the pits due to the damaged sustained during the various passing manoeuvres. With just one lap to go, Caton became another to pay a visit to the Paddock Hill gravel trap, beaching his car in the process.
Both Bailey and Camp did all they could in the closing stages to catch Thackeray, who held on to score his third victory of the season. Luff, who once again set the fastest lap of the race, crossed the line in third, followed by Edmundson, Brennan, Macdonald, Harding and Harvey, with Jeakins finishing tenth overall and claiming his second Production Class win in the process ahead of Hounsell.
The outcome of the two races sees the championship positions at the top of the table get even closer.
Therefore, with competitors unable to drop scores from either of the two remaining rounds at Snetterton on 23rd October, four drivers are in with a mathematical chance of winning the Cup Class title: Alistair Camp, Matt Luff, Morgan Bailey and Dan Thackeray. In the Production Class, it’s a straight shoot-out between Jeakins and Hounsell.
The Milltek Sport Civic Cup is supported by Milltek Sport, Goodyear, Maximum Networks, Liqui Moly, MaxiCloud Hosted Telephony, Co-ordSport, Berkshire Turbo, Joyce Design, Steel Seal, PBS braking systems and Maximum Performance. The Championship is administered by Club Time Attack.