Champion of Brands News

Eastwell retains Champion of Brands despite finish confusion

Michael Eastwell retained the Champion of Brands title with victory in the opening race of the weekend, prevailing in a tussle with his Kevin Mills Racing team-mate Neil Maclennan.

The chequered flag was not waved fully at the end of the race, meaning third place was initially the first to meet it, with the results provisionally being cast back a lap.

Poleman Eastwell led for the entirety of the 15-minute race. However, after a safety car intervention eradicated his one-second lead with five minutes to go, Maclennan was able to keep within Eastwell’s tow.

Despite the constant threat from Maclennan in the closing stages, Eastwell stayed ahead to claim the win. On the lap after the chequered flag first fell, Maclennan did overtake Eastwell.

Maclennan, who is competing this weekend in Michael Moyers’ Walter Hayes Trophy-winning car, had briefly lost second place at the start of the race.

The third KMR car driven by Michael Macpherson managed to squeeze passed Maclennan after he ran wide at Druids hairpin on the opening lap. The two exchanged places again one lap later at the same corner.

Macpherson was a comfortable third, albeit falling adrift of the leading two, when he slid off and became beached in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend at mid-distance. His stranded Spectrum was the cause of the race’s only safety car.

Champion of Brands rookie Tommy Foster, competing in his second weekend in cars, was the race’s other retirement. He was running fifth in the closing stages before making the same mistake as Macpherson.

Jason Down finished in third place after starting seventh on the grid. He made significant progress early in the race in his Getem Mygale and consolidated third in the closing stages after having inherited it from Macpherson.

WHT finalist Jack Kemp was fourth, ahead of Adam Fathers. Fathers was able to pass Kevin Bottomley after the restart, with Bottomley just holding off John Whitbourn for sixth.

Race results

Pos Driver Car Time
1 Michael Eastwell Spectrum 16 laps
2 Neil Maclennan Spectrum +0.318
3 Jason Down Getem Mygale +9.493
4 Jack Kemp Ray +13.900
5 Adam Fathers Ray +22.383
6 Kevin Bottomley Reynard +37.434
7 John Whitbourn Ray +38.742
8 Innes Hickman Ray +1 lap
9 Tommy Foster Van Diemen
10 Michael Macpherson Spectrum
Fastest lap: Eastwell, 51.088

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