Champion of Brands MSVR News

Eastwell edges Gruber for Champion of Brands pole

Kevin Mills Racing driver Michael Eastwell secured pole for the opening race of Champion of Brands, edging out Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Nico Gruber on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Eastwell, who is currently fourth in the Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship standings, hit the top of the timesheet after his first lap of the session despite having not run in Friday’s practice session.

However, Eastwell would exchange top spot with fellow National FF1600 competitor Gruber.

Ray driver Gruber edged to the top of the timesheet on his fourth lap of the session, before Eastwell swiftly demoted him back to second with his next lap.

The two would exchange places again later in the session, but by recording a 50.264s Eastwell made himself unbeatable for pole position.

Gruber edged closer to Eastwell’s benchmark late on but in only shaving a hundredth of a second off of his personal best, he still finished 0.129s adrift of Eastwell in second.

He was one of only a handful of drivers to improve in the final five minutes of the session.

Oliver White, who has been crowned Champion of Brands on six previous occasions, qualified in third. He was just 0.030s behind Gruber.

Current Castle Combe FF1600 Championship leader Luke Cooper ended up in fourth place. The Swift Cooper driver enters the weekend on the back of a double-DNF in last weekend’s National FF1600 series races at Brands Hatch.

Henry Chart climbed up the timesheet as the session progressed. He qualified his Van Diemen in fifth place, after being demoted from fourth place by Cooper with five minutes left on the clock.

Adam Quartermaine ended up in sixth. He was 0.809s adrift of Eastwell and the last driver within a second of pole position.

Jonathan Browne qualified his Ray in seventh place while Jason Down and Flash Finneran ended up eighth and ninth respectively.

Fastest in Heritage class machinery was James Hadfield in his 1991 Van Diemen, also going tenth quickest overall.

Terry Durdin qualified 11th, ahead of Jack Kemp in 12th. Kemp started positively but was shuffled down as the session progressed, a mechanical issue forcing him to return to pitlane around halfway through qualifying.

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 Michael Eastwell Spectrum 50.264
2 Nico Gruber Ray +0.129
3 Oliver White Medina Sport +0.159
4 Luke Cooper Swift +0.416
5 Henry Chart Van Diemen +0.676
6 Adam Quartermaine Van Diemen +0.809
7 Jonathan Browne Ray +1.050
8 Jason Down Getem Mygale +1.139
9 Flash Finneran Van Diemen +1.236
10 H James Hadfield Van Diemen RF91 +1.595



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