TWO OUT OF THREE FOR CHARTERIS AT BRANDS
HATCHDespite starting from the back of the grid in the
first race of the weekend Mark Charteris's Mallock was
second, but from pole in the following days races he was
A dry qualifying turned into a wet race for the first of
the weekend's triple headers.
Front row qualifiers Clive Wood and Peter Richings led into
Paddock Hill Bend, but Steve Dickens scythed around the
outside of them both and led as they climbed the hill to
Druids Hairpin. "I was aiming for third and then the gaps
opened," said Dickens.
Barry Webb had been caught out with a spin on the Cooper
Straight, which left Michelle Hayward's class 2 Mallock
chasing the three Protos ahead. By the end of the opening
lap Wood was already 2.946 secs down on Dickens lead, with
Richings, Hayward, Morris Hart and Rodney Player's GEM the
initial top six.
Mark Charteris had started at the back after missing
qualifying, but by the end of lap two he was already into
fourth and threatening Hayward, after Wood had dropped back
Richings managed to hold onto his second place until lap
four, when Charteris breached his defence and set off to
close the eight second gap to Dickens.
The gap came down consistently but time ran out, leaving
Dickens 3.211 secs clear for a dominant victory. "I didn't
think I was that quick, but I started to feel the pressure
with Mark closing," Dickens explained.
The gap could have been a lot less, but Charteris had a
late spin. "I was taking the outside line at Clearways in
third gear, but got some backmarkers, took it in second,
spun and rejoined after a complete 360. So I don't really
know if I would have caught Steve," Charteris added.
Hayward got ahead of Richings on lap six and escaped to
secure third overall and a class win, leaving Richings, Ian
Crombie and Hart to complete the top six, after Wood had
crashed out into Paddock.
Initially Charteris got away from Wood in race two, but
having built up a 1.7 secs lead after three laps, Wood
began to pull it back. Dickens and Richings soon settled in
a fairly solitary third and fourth, after the latter
demoted Crombie on lap three.
Wood's charge had reduced the lead to only 0.167 secs after
eight laps, before the leader responded again. But Wood
threw everything at the last couple of laps, just missing
out by 5/100ths in the dash for the line.
As Dickens began to struggle, Richings held onto third from
lap eight, but had Alan Cook closing at the end. Dickens
pulled off at 10 laps, which left class winner Hayward in
fifth from Webb.
Charteris was in charge again in the third and final race,
with Wood unable to match his pace.
Despite a five lap safety car intervention after Ian
Mitchell had collected John Drinkwater's spinning Gem,
Charteris took charge again from the green flag and was
over nine seconds clear at the flag.
"I nearly lost it at the start, but then Mark got away and
I couldn't make the restart either," said Wood. "I did
think Clive might have got me that time," Charteris
replied. Richings was third throughout, but the fight for
fourth lasted for most of the race as Cook just held off
Crombie and Dickens.
Hayward collected her third class win of the weekend in
Published by Peter Scherer for Clubmans Register, May