April 10th/11th - 'Equipe' GTS at Brands Hatch MGCC . .

Welcome back the old, in with the new - first qualifying of the season featured four newcomers amongst a strong 27 car grid - the immaculate Class 2 Lotus Elite of Belgian Jean Saeys and the Class 3 Ding Boston Elva Courier (pictured) run by the Oxford University Motorsport Foundation, were welcome additions. The ex-Brian Arculus TR3 of Olivier Penat and Jean-Marc Avezou made a return, as did the ex-Neil Howe TR4 in the hands of series returnee Dominic Spicer.

Q - A top three without an MGB is an unusual footnote for a series that originated under the MGTeam banner, but 'Doc' Ashworth's TVR1800S and the TR4's of John Andon and Pete Foster took full advantage of sunny and dry conditions to post times under one minute. First MGB was the fast improving Nick Crewdson, leading five B series cars from 1.00.207 to 1.00.984, with Class 3 headed by the Boston Courier, Class 2 by Tony Wilson-Spratt's blue WSM, and Class 1 by Chris Clegg in the superbly presented Sebring Sprite.

Race One - The Foster TR4 was running on three cylinders off the line and caused mischief in the following ranks as avoidance became a priority, but Ashworth made the best of his pole position and put in a blistering fourth lap while fending off a fired up Andon. The battling B's took advantage of Foster's retirement, headed by Bicester resident Mike Harris from sixth spot as he squeezed past the Crewdson B into third. Meanwhile, Andon's persistancy paid off and he dived underneath Ashworth at Paddock and drew away for a well deserved second win in the series. Ron Watt, Graham Shrigley Jones and Jonathon Stock in brother Jerry's MGB settled 5th to 7th amicably eventually, and newcomer Penat resisted the Bob Allen MGB by a whisker for 11th. Ashworth, Boston, Saeys and Clegg wrapped up Class honours.

Fastest Laps : Class 1- Clegg 1.06.304 Class 2 - Wilson-Spratt 1.01.176 Class 3 - Boston 1.03.333 Class 4 - Ashworth 58.587 Class 5 - Andon 58.579

Race Two - The scheduled half hour race number 23 left 'Equipe' at the mercy of the days events, and with incidents involving the previous Mazda MX5 and BCV8 grids, the timetable contracted until the 'Equipe' distance was halved. Nevertheless, another gripping race unfolded as Andon led away from Ashworth and Foster, but the latter retiring on lap 6 with a repeat of the misfire that blighted his first race. Stock used all his racecraft to repel fellow B pedellers Tim Patchett and Graham Bates as less than a second separated the trio, and a similar story unfolded as the blue WSM held off the charging Allen and Iain Patterson MGB's. At the front, Andon yielded to Ashworth's pressure mid race and although Andon kept the heat on, Ashworth remained unflustered to the flag where one hundreth separated them. Harris and Crewdson repeated third and fourth, and Colin Elstrop's Spitfire and Peter Bolderson's MGB rewarded paddock toils with 12th and 18th respectively. Class winners were Andon, Boston, Wilson-Spratt and Clegg.

FLs : Class 1 - Clegg 1.06.528 Class 2 - Wilson-Spratt 1.01.597 Class 3 - Boston - 1.01.784 Class 4 - Ashworth - 58.731 Class 5 - Andon 58.979

Pit & Paddock

Click on for in-car video courtesy of Paul Webb

Furtive goings on - Boston and Edney concoct fuel additive in trailer shelter with OUMF adviser

Rob Cull has his race winning TVR in bits at present, but is aiming to get finished for the next round in May

The winners rostrum for Saturday's race was the Andon TR - left to right Andon, Ashworth and Harris with the gorgeous brolly dollies Blandine and Sarah

The WSM team create an effective blanket over 208's first race war wounds

Bob Allen greets Jim Lowry (out of shot)

No comment - all the obvious ones have already come my way thanks . .

Click on RESULTS courtesy of TSL Timing

MGCC race organiser Dave Saunders had the look of a troubled man as circumstances conspired to back up the race timetable on Sunday. However, not all the delays were simply red flag moments - you cannot legislate for a driver needing hospitalisation after a crash, nor for a driver falling ill in the paddock and both requiring airlifting out of the circuit (rules prevent circuit use while helicopters are in action). We wish both drivers a full recovery

Pictures courtesy of Paul Webb - all the above, and many more, are available in full fat format.

Next 'Equipe' GTS rounds at Zandvoort on May 15th/16th . .