Michael Eastwell claimed his second dominant win of the day in the latest VeriVin Champion of Brands round and with it took the Bert Ray Memorial Trophy.
Eastwell in his Kevin Mills Racing Spectrum again led the entire race distance from pole. He had to hold off a strong challenge initially from Cliff Dempsey Racing pair Jamie Thorburn and James Raven, who both later hit problems in their Rays.
Thorburn from third on the grid got past Raven for second on the first lap and attacked Eastwell several times at Paddock and Druids early on but Eastwell was able to hold him off. Raven then reclaimed second from Thorburn on lap 3 with a fine outbraking move on the inside of Paddock, allowing Eastwell to create a gap out front.
Thorburn dropped out just after half distance following an apparent altercation with Simon Pruce at Clearways when lapping him. It left Pruce stranded in the gravel with his Ray’s nose dislodged while Thorburn, who had dropped down the order, retired in the pits a lap later.
Late on second-placed Raven dropped to sixth after clipping a bollard on the inside of Graham Hill Bend and spinning off on the outside.
This led to Eastwell winning the race by nearly 10 seconds. The Bert Ray Memorial Trophy – in homage to the Formula Ford chassis designer – was awarded to Eastwell by Bert’s widow Betty with Bert’s son Gavin also in attendance.
Ollie White – who was unhappy with his Medina’s handling in this meeting – headed a tight three-way fight for second, just beating Rory Smith’s Medina in third and Jonathan Browne’s Ray in fourth.
Chris Middlehurst rose from starting last to finish fifth after he sat out of the first race after a coil on his Van Diemen broke on the way to the grid. He just held off a recovering Raven in race two, the pair finishing side-by-side.
Conor Murphy’s Mondiale finished seventh with Jack Kemp’s Ray, Flashman Finneran’s Van Diemen and Richard Mendoza’s Mygale completing the top 10 in that order.
|5||Chris Middlehurst||Van Diemen||+17.688|
|9||Flashman Finneran||Van Diemen||+37.276|
|11||James Gowens||Jamun||+1 Lap|
|12||Andrew Clark||Van Diemen||+1 Lap|
|13||Andrew Pryke||Van Diemen||+1 Lap|
|14||Mark Adkins||Jamun||+2 Laps|
|Fastest lap: Eastwell, 50.523|