Round 9 of the 2007 Elise Trophy held at Brands Hatch 10-11th November 2007.
For the final round in our first season we were looking forward to returning to Brands Hatch to race at MSVR’s Autumn festival. The enthusiasm and commitment of the drivers was clearly demonstrated with over 55 entries, allowing us for the first time to run 2 separate grids, one for the class A (production) cars and one for the class B (modified) and C (super modified) cars. This was to be our 3rd outing at Brands Hatch this year, fingers crossed it would be a bit warmer than it was in March! The entry list included no less than 17 new drivers, so there were plenty of nervous faces in the paddock on Saturday morning.
Qualifying – Sat 10th
A shower on Saturday morning made things a little greasy for the class A drivers, just what the newbies didn’t need! Jamie Stanley, driving Paul Golding’s car, was the class of the field in qualifying, taking pole with a time of 54.78s. Paul Quinn, Michael Edwards and Martin Roberts were all within 1s, promising a good battle at the front. Best of the new drivers was Gary Broad, who qualified an excellent 13th.
By the time the class B/C cars went out it was dry, and once again Chris Randall was the pace setter, with a pole time of 51.186s. Andrew Walsh was 2nd quickest, followed by Simon Scuffham and Russ Treasure. Steve Williams was the quickest class B driver, followed by David Skeggs and Andrew Waters.
Scratch Race Class A
|1. Michael Edwards||2. Paul Quinn||3. Jamie Stanley||4. Martin Roberts||5. Paul Harding||6. James Knight|
In the first Elise Trophy race of the day we were treated to a three-way lights-to-flag battle for the race win between Stanley, Quinn & Edwards. Stanley had a terrible start, finding himself well down the order as the field went into Paddock for the first time. By the end of lap 1 he was up to 3rd and set about regaining the lead. Edwards made the better start and led the race for the first 2 laps. Quinn got past him on lap 3 to take the lead for 5 laps, under continual pressure from the other 2. On lap 7 Edwards & Stanley both got past. Edwards held on to the flag to take a hard earned victory. After a trip through the gravel at Paddock, Quinn made a last ditch attempt to get past Stanley on the last lap to take 2nd, with Stanley finishing 3rd.
Other notable drives included Paul Harding who finished 5th from 11th on the grid, just behind Roberts, who drove a solid race to come 4th. Tess Howell was having a cracking race and was running as high as 7th before she retired on lap 17 with mechanical issues.
There were close battles throughout the field. James Knight and Stuart Kirkbride were separated by just 0.097s as they crossed the line in 6th and 7th respectively. Chris Pearson, trying out a class A car for the first time this season, crossed the line to finish 11th, 0.59s ahead of Tom Chatterway. Best of the new drivers was Simon Deacon, who finished 15th, just 0.81s ahead of another newcomer, Stuart Malt.
Race summary – 28 starters, 22 finished.
Scratch Race Class B/C
|Class B||Class C|
When Walsh and Treasure got off the line ahead of Randall it looked like we might have a race for the lead on our hands, however by lap 3 Randall was into a lead which he held pretty comfortably all the way to the flag, to take his 8th scratch race victory f the season. Treasure’s miserable season for reliability continued when he retired on lap 4 with engine problems, leaving the battle for 2nd to Walsh & Scuffham. Walsh held on for most of the race until Scuffham got past him on lap 13, when Walsh made a mistake coming out of Graham Hill. Then on lap 18 the 2 cars had a coming together through Clearways, Scuffham ended up in the gravel, while Walsh was able to continue to take 2nd overall (and 2nd in class C). Nick Kaye had an incident filled race, making a poor start from 8th on the grid, finding himself 20th at the end of lap 1. After rubbing paint (and then some) with at least 2 other cars he eventually finished 6th to take 3rd in class C. Andrew Kell started from 21st on the grid after engine problems in qualifying in his class C car. By lap 5 he’d fought his way up to 9th, before retiring on lap 8 with electrical problems.
In class B, Skeggs had a good battle with Williams and was running a strong 4th overall before retiring on lap 12 with c
lutch problems. Meanwhile Williams tangled with Kaye at Clearways on lap 13, allowing new driver Andrew Waters through to take the lead in class B, a lead which he held to the flag to take a maiden class victory. Williams set about chasing down David Harvey and Neil McKean, who had also taken advantage while he was tangling with Kaye, getting past them both on the penultimate lap to take 2nd in class, his 11th trophy of the season. Harvey brought his 340R home 5th overall to take 3rd in class B. Another new driver doing well was Robert Morris who qualified 11th and finished 9th overall (6th in class B) in his Exige 240 Cup.
Race summary – 23 starters, 15 finished.
Handicap Race Class A
|1. Gavin Kirby||2. Tess Howell||3. Tom Chatterway||4. Matthew Bartlett||5. Jamie Stanley||6. Chris Pearson|
With 26 closely matched cars battling it out in the class A handicap race it looked like we were in for a pretty frantic 20 laps. The handicappers had applied their formula to set the cars off in a number of drops from the grid, so that, theoretically, all the cars would cross the line at the same time! They did a pretty good job too, with less than 20s covering the top 17 finishers.
In the end Gavin Kirby recovered from a fairly torrid time in the scratch race, to take the overall victory, passing Tess Howell on the last corner of the race to take the victory by just 0.1s. The battle for 3rd was won by Chatterway, who crossed the line just ahead of Matthew Bartlett and Stanley, with just 0.3s separating the 3 cars.
Other close finishes included Adam Hamilton-Fletcher (highest placed new driver), Edwards, Quinn, Mark Peasey, Harding, BJ Chong, Kirkbride, Paul Pattison & Knight, who finished in 8th-16th places, with just 3.4s covering the 9 cars!
Race summary – 26 starters, 25 finished.
Handicap Race Class B/C
|1. Chris Randall||2. Mark Gooday||3. David Skeggs||4. Andrew Kell||Malcolm Sanders||Steve Williams|
As dusk fell, the modified class B/C cars lined up for the final Elise Trophy race of the day. Once again the cars were set off from the grid in a number of drops, and the faster cars set about making their way through the field from the back of the grid.
Randall repeated his success in the scratch race with a charge through the entire field to take the overall victory. Mark Gooday brought his 340R home in a well-deserved 2nd place, 8.96s adrift. Skeggs and Kell battled for pretty much the whole race, Skeggs getting ahead when Kell made a mistake exiting Druids to take the final podium place, crossing the line just 0.5s ahead.
Race summary – 21 starters, 16 finished.
Another excellent weekend’s racing for the Elise Trophy, with 51 drivers competing in our season finale at Brands Hatch. What a phenomenal inaugural season it’s been for the series, with full entry lists at almost all the rounds, fantastic racing and excellent support from Lotus enthusiasts in all weathers.
Over the season we’ve had 11 different overall winners, with 37 drivers getting on the podium and taking some silverware home. gratulations to James Knight, the only driver to complete all 18 races, plus Graham Walsh who drove his car to and from all the race meetings.
The Elise Trophy continues to move from strength to strength with a 2008 calendar that once again includes visits to top circuits throughout the UK. Highlights include supporting A1GP at Brands Hatch in May, plus another visit to Spa in June. We believe we are the first series in the UK to confirm a 2008 calendar, thanks to the continued support of MSVR for organising a superb calendar and confirming it so early.
Look out for further television coverage of ’’’Elise Trophy’’’ races on Motors TV (the first showing of the Donington Park races is on Fri 30th November at 8:30pm). For further details of our television coverage and to see a short promo, please check out the Race Television web site.
And finally thanks to all everyone involved in the series this year, including the organisers, drivers, spectators, circuits, marshalls, garages etc. It wouldn’t be the same without everyone who’s been involved, and we’re already looking forward to more great races and events in 2008!