Chris Middlehurst took a dominant victory in the first Walter Hayes Trophy heat after a missed gear cost Kevin Mills Racing’s Michael Eastwell the lead and potential engine damage.
Eastwell took pole and led Team Dolan’s Middlehurst in the opening laps as the latter settled into second place. A missed gear from Eastwell deprived his engine of straight-line performance, giving Middlehurst the lead.
Middlehurst opened up a comfortable margin over Eastwell and eventually finished 4.845 seconds ahead at the flag.
The final step on the podium looked like it was going to Wayne Poole Racing’s Josh Fisher, who had started down in 15th after mechanic issues in qualifying. He was up to 11th by the end of the first lap, and overtook another five next time round.
He moved past David McCullough and Richard Tarling in one move at Brooklands to take the third, and spent the rest of the race closing on Eastwell. He moved past the KMR driver on the final lap but then spun out on the approach to Becketts.
McCullough therefore took back third, with Tarling fourth and class rival Doug Crosbie completing the top five.
Austrian Klaus Dieter Hieckel finished sixth, fronting a close battle for the remaining automatic semi-final spots with Max Marzorati, Vincent Jay and Daniel O’Beirne.
Rick Morris joined Fisher in not finishing the race after crashing into the barriers at Brooklands in the second half of the race.
|1||Chris Middlehurst||Van Diemen||8 laps|
|6||C||Klaus Dieter Hackel||Van Diemen||+16.418|
|8||Vincent Jay||Van Diemen||+17.283|
|9||Daniel O’Beirne||Van Diemen||+17.576|
|10||Jack Kemp||Van Diemen||+18.651|
|13||Lloyd Hopes||Van Diemen||+28.486|
|14||H||Liam McShane||Van Diemen||+36.248|
|15||C||Lorna Vickers||Van Diemen||+40.170|
|Fastest lap: Fisher, 1:02:727|