Results > July 10th 11th 2021 - Brands Hatch GP

Jeremy Timms takes Two wins



HISTORIC F3 BRANDS HATCH

Timms the uncatchable conquers Brands

Driving the ex-works Chevron B15 in which future Swedish Formula 1 driver Reine Wisell finished seventh in the 1969 British F3 championship, Jeremey Timms dominated the Historic F3 double-header within the HSCC’s Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix on July 10-11.

In a season which was extraordinarily open - until Brazilian prodigy Emerson Fittipaldi arrived in a Jim Russell Racing Drivers’ School-entered Lotus 59 -Wisell only won one round, at Snetterton, where he pipped Australian Tim Schenken (Brabham BT28) by 0.4s.

In a qualifying session run, like our races, concurrently with Classic Formula Ford, Timms missed out on 1000cc F3 pole position, but Andrew Hibberd couldn’t match him thereafter. Hibberd led the chase both days, with Simon Armer and Ian Bankhurst bagging a third apiece.

Twelve HF3 competitors arrived at Brands. Hibberd continued where he left off at Donington a fortnight previously, topping the time sheet in Saturday morning’s preliminaries. His Chequered Flag Brabham BT18 had carried Chris Irwin to victory in the one-off European Championship race here in 1966, when it ran in side-draught carburettor form.

Andrew’s best lap of 1m38.979s (an average of 88.50mph on the 2.43-mile Grand Prix circuit), was set at the end when the track was at its best. Timms cut an excellent 1:40.027, with Armer’s 1:41.383 in the ex-Tom Walkinshaw Petonyer Aviation March 703 good enough for third.

Bankhurst (ex-Terry Ogilvie-Hardy Project X Alexis Mk8) on 1:42.183 and Steve Seaman, quickest of five Brabham BT21 drivers on 1:44.189 were next up. Mark Linstone (BT21), Keith Messer (Vesey VF3) and Peter Hamilton (Tecno) were closely matched in the 46s, clear of Andrew Tart in his ex-John Fenning Merlyn.

Brabham regulars Gil Duffy (BT21B), Paul Booth (BT21) had work to do, but not as much as Jason Timms who, having oil system problems at Donington, did not complete a lap before he thought he felt the engine tighten which urged him to switch his Ford MAE off. Following investigation, he was able to start the opening race, however.

Despite his best efforts to rebuild his engine after Donington, Jon Milicevic ran out of time. Due to cross-channel travel restrictions with the ongoing COVID pandemic HF3 was hit harder still. We missed our friends from continental Europe who in normal times enthusiastically support the Brands Hatch event and might have justified stand-alone races.

Disappointingly, despite Andrew and Jeremey qualifying third and seventh best times overall, and the other screamers being compatible with the 1600cc Kent-engined cars, our grid was lined-up behind the more numerous Pre-’82 Formula Fords and released separately on a wet but drying track which proved fiendishly slippery for most who were on wets.

There was drama on the opening lap of Saturday afternoon’s race when Hamilton spun grossly a third of the way down the hill from Druids hairpin, but got going again. Seconds later, Seaman rotated at Graham Hill Bend and Tart- on his tail - braked and tweaked his steering to miss Steve and gyrated in sympathy. Seaman pitted but continued.

Jeremey Timms, on dry tyres, and Hibberd were already well in the mix in the overall classification when it was red-flagged, a languidly spinning FF having hooked another off into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend. Resultant suspension damage rendered them both immobile. “I knew immediately that I’d made a big mistake going for wets.” rued Andrew afterwards.

When the race was restarted the track was dryer. Timms shot away lapping five seconds quicker than pursuer Hibberd, whose tyres were finished after four of the seven laps. Jeremey carved through to 10th overall, showcasing both car and the HF3 championship to good effect..

Armer and Bankhurst finished 0.156s apart in their tussle for third, with Jason Timms’ incontinent Brabham fifth from the back, having wriggled past Hamilton, Tart and Linstone in short order. Linstone and Tart finished sixth and seventh, a distance ahead of Messer, Seaman, Duffy and Booth, all struggling. Hamilton spun the Tecno thrice before he nudged a barrier.

Sunday’s sequel was at least run on a dry track, enabling the 10 surviving competitors to feel more of the hallowed GP circuit experience. Timms and Hibberd again made the pace but Armer slithered off on oil at Paddock and careered backwards into the gravel trap half way down the hill. He took no further part.

A safety car was deployed but with double yellows waving, the FF frontrunners arrived. The leader just managed to alter his car’s trajectory and stay on the track, but his pursuer went off and powered through the kitty litter between Simon (in his car) and the barrier. The errant competitor clawed his way out and, despite the race being red-flagged, was permitted to rejoin the grid. And won!

Unsatisfactorily, the F3s were in a shambolic higgledy-piggledy order when the new race re-started for nine minutes. Over five laps our winner Timms battled through to fourth overall, an impressive performance. Hibberd set fastest lap of 1:39.917 in his relentless chase, but was two seconds down on Jeremey - separated by two FFs - at the chequer.

Bankhurst, Linstone, Seaman, Tart and Messer were strung out throughout the field, only Hamilton and Duffy finishing close together.

Marcus Pye



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