The champagne flowed at our local Kent circuit in September as the team took 3 podiums across the weekend, including TWO 1st place finishes on the Saturday, followed by a hard-fought 2nd place finish on the Sunday too.
Sparrowhawk Racing sponsored by Bromley Vehicle Test Centre Limited found themselves on the top spot of the podium after both races on Saturday, in the Southern Tin Tops Series. The races were close-fought, between a field of matching cars, all of whom had an equal chance at victory. But it was a clean sweep for Sparrowhawk Racing who took pole position in Qualifying, followed by two race wins and also the fastest lap. The perfect day of racing.
Speaking after the second race, driver Rich Sanders told the commentary team “We’ve worked hard this season for our first win, with a new car to get to grips with and lots of testing happening throughout the year. So it’s great for that first win of the year to be followed up immediately by a second win. At our home circuit Brands Hatch too, we’re very happy with that. A big thanks to our lead sponsors Bromley Vehicle Test Centre, they’re close by in Bromley not far from here so they’ll be chuffed to bits with a double race win!”
The silverware kept coming as the action continued on Sunday. Sparrowhawk Racing were taking part in two different race meetings across two days, as Brands Hatch hosted one of their biggest meetings of the season on Sunday. Huge crowds were in attendance for a packed day of racing which delivered thrilling action from morning til dusk.
On a packed grid of 30 cars, Sparrowhawk Racing were thrilled to Qualify in P6 overall ahead of some much faster and much more powerful cars on the mixed grid. Waiting for Race 1 to start there was much talk of a wet race, as storm clouds formed ominously over the circuit. Just as the teams were called to assembly a huge downpour began, soaking the track and sending all teams into a frenzy as the cars were jacked-up and had their slick tyres swapped for wet tyres.
Race 1 started in torrential rain, and as the lights went out the spray from the cars reduced visibility to near-zero. Through Turn1 and Turn2 the Sparrowhawk Racing car made its way up from P6 into P3 behind the leading two cars (both much more powerful machines who were struggling to gain traction). As they completed the opening lap the faster cars in front were not able to lay down their power in the treacherous wet conditions, and the Sparrowhawk Racing car overtook them both going into the final corner of lap1.
Leading the race after the opening lap, the Sparrowhawk Racing car sponsored by Bromley Vehicle Test Centre Limited was out in front and in a class of its own. Leading lap after lap, the lead was at once point up to 5 seconds from the car chasing behind in 2nd place. As the rain poured down the commentator commented… “No one appears to have told our race leader, Rich Sanders, that these are supposed to be tricky conditions, he’s absolutely flying away at the front.”
But after leading for a full 12 laps the race came to a slightly disappointing end, as a spinning car ended up in the crash-barrier and brought out the Safety Car. As our car followed the Safety Car it looked as though the team would take the win, under safety car conditions. But the Safety Car pulled in with just 1 lap remaining. On the re-start Rich was jumped by the more powerful car waiting eagerly behind him and crossed the line moments later in 2nd place. A very frustrating end to what was almost a perfect race. But nonetheless is was another podium finish and another trophy for the trophy cabinet!
Finishing in P2 meant starting Race2 on the front row of the grid – which was an exciting prospect considering the packed grid of 30 cars and the huge crowds in the stands. Conditions for Race2 were very different, with a dry track and warm sunshine. Rich battled hard to maintain a podium spot but in the end the dry conditions better suited the more powerful cars and several of them came past on the straights – with Rich finishing Race2 in a respectable P6.
A fantastic weekend, with 3 trophies to show for it. Sparrowhawk Racing had done themselves proud at their final ‘home’ race weekend of this season. Next up the team are back at Goodwood Motor Circuit for the final Goodwood Sprint of the season, this coming weekend. Followed by Snetterton in October for the next round of Audi TTCR racing.