Let's look back at the huge Brands Hatch Grand Prix meeting last weekend and forwards to Silverstone GP.
Superb grids of well turned-out cars, in front of over 5000 spectators, at one of the countries very best race circuits. Thank you so much as always for your continued support, we hope you enjoyed your weekend. We did experience some issues, as there is no such thing as a perfect race meeting, but we'll look at them later in this item.
Timing was provided by a Swiss company and proved tricky for some of you to find and follow. Fortunately for us, we had our regular TSL Chief Timekeeper, Lisa Sneader on hand. Lisa did an excellent job of translating the nuances of our races, to timekeepers unaccustomed to reserves and 2 car teams! TSL have exported the figures to their website, so you can now see results for our races here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/213464
David Stallard positioned himself on the GP loop on both days. The vantage points are few and far between, but he/we felt it was important to capture you in action on the Grand Prix sections, whilst the opportunity arose.
Photos from Saturday qualifying and both classic races are here: https://www.davidstallardphotography.com/ClassicSportsCarClubCSCC/CSCC-2021/CSCC-Brands-Hatch-28-Aug-21/
Photos from Sunday's races are here, in time order as always: https://www.davidstallardphotography.com/ClassicSportsCarClubCSCC/CSCC-2021/CSCC-Brands-Hatch-29-Aug-21/
Thanks to Speed Clad, all CSCC qualifying and races were live-streamed and can be watched here (the JMC Racing Special Saloons and Modsports race was particularly excellent): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZTn9UDAbC2oDgVl92xrH_jGQhxR0dTgh
Marc Peters was present, producing one of his superb trademark video compilations here (with more engine sounds than ever):
Problems and Concerns
Safety Car/Pit Exit
Given the size of grids, CSCC drivers are to be congratulated for their first lap conduct in every race, we had no major incidents, nor did we have any stoppages due to circuit damage, unlike the GT drivers in the main event! There were however numerous 'offs' into the gravel as the races progressed. When this happens the Clerks have no choice but to neutralise the race, for your safety and to prevent further damage to a stricken car.
We've talked about this before, but the choice of when or how to recover a vehicle is that of the Motorsport UK officials alone, not the CSCC, drivers or armchair experts. There are many factors involved, such as terrain, type of car, recovery vehicles available, any damage to car or barriers, likely speeds of approaching cars, angle and direction that the recovery vehicle may need to tow from and to, do they need to cross the track, protection to the Marshals etc. Every situation is different. As a club we regularly give feedback to the Clerks after race meetings, particularly with our wish for the lead driver to be picked up and the pit exit to remain open during a safety car, but, it must be repeated, we can only request this, not order it. Discussion in the office and your committee is ongoing, to find ways of working with and helping the officials on trying to find practical solutions to this serious problem, we hear you and know that this is a priority moving forwards.
With absolute certainty we can say that it is not the intention of the Clerks to spoil anyone's race, so please can we ask members to do their bit and 'keep it on the black stuff'. Racing is about finding limits, but some are going some way over it, leaving contact with a barrier or being buried in gravel a 'when', not an 'if'. A respected CSCC racer who took part at Brands Hatch posted his frustration on Facebook (permission given to copy part of his post):
I know these things happen but I think its time for all drivers to think a bit more, we all would rather go racing for a full race and not sit behind a safety car for most of it!
Please if you have an issue with your car, get it to a safe place so the race can carry on. Please know when its over, don't try to limp it back round to the pits and then get it stuck on track in an unsafe place.
I know we are have all pushed too hard at times and gone off and I'm not one to talk, but there was 2 cars well deep into the gravel in the same place (ed: on different laps)!
Please try to not push quite so hard, to finish first, first you must finish, we would all rather everyone be there at the end and get a full race. Sitting behind safety cars is no fun for anyone. Please, lets go RACING!
There is a national shortage of volunteers, the sport would greatly value any driver stepping up to become a trained Clerk. Please contact us to find out more.
Typically the Classic Sports Car Club runs it's own race meetings, providing all the racing content but on this occasion, it was us who were the guests and we provided the support races for the main event, the Fanatec GT World Challenge. In the event that 'they' caused a delay, it was always going to be us who would lose out time-wise.
GTWCE damaged barriers on both days caused us numerous issues, such as: shortened qualifying for many of you, a long wait without information in the holding area for the Slicks/Open/New Millennium race, a change from a standing to a rolling start (to save an extra couple of minutes) and a cancelled first race for the JMC Racing Special Saloons and Modsports. This late change of timetable also left a number of competitors short of fuel after the Slicks/Open/New Millennium as they were unable to bring up fuel to the assembly area in sufficient time. Whilst we have written separately to the drivers in the Special Saloons race, we would like to say sorry to all those drivers affected, but also thank you, you showed remarkable patience and understanding of the situation. It made us/you appreciate that at a normal CSCC meeting all of our series are on an equal footing, with shortened sessions mostly isolated to the series responsible!
Fitting 300 entries into the outer paddock at Brands Hatch was always going to be a challenge, but it should have worked but for these problems:
1. GTWCE trucks took up space we weren't expecting. This was out of the CSCC's control, but was very disappointing.
2.MSV did not issue paddock passes nor provide paddock Marshals as they did for our Tin Tops in May.
3. Private cars were brought into the paddock.
4. Members that turned up on the Friday test day either parked where they pleased, ignoring the paddock plan OR decided that as their allocated weekend area was occupied, by those testing, they would set root at a place that suited them and would not move.
5. Some teams and individuals reserving larger areas than they required, wasting huge amounts of space.
This is a great use of space.
In the end we asked MSV to open the rally stage, for overflow parking. Thank you to those who made use of this, non-paved area, made difficult by a lack of paddock announcements. May we repeat that the paddock plans are there for our racing days only. Friday test days are not run by the CSCC, people may park where they wish, but, once testing finishes you MUST relocate as marked. If that means packing everything away to move 100 metres so be it. Time was taken at Brand Hatch to work out the paddock plan carefully and was done so that every race was arranged in strips, so that power from the tree-line was available to all, by use of the gulleys to lay cables. Private car parking was marked on the MSV plan. We park series in specific locations to make it easier for officials to find you, for paddock appearance and camaraderie, to make sure you have space for the number of entries your race has (we know which series have larger trucks) and also as we are fair to each series throughout the season; everyone has their turn of being close to facilities, to have the garages or be located away in the sticks/on the grass.
Thank you to those drivers who voluntarily parked on the rally stage.
With office staff time at a premium we are not going to write much more on this subject now, but it will return as a topic, as this is not the CSCC way. Thank you to those members and teams who did abide by the paddock plan and used minimal space.
We hope that most drivers enjoyed this special event and we can iron out the issues for future events.
Let's look forwards now, later this afternoon we will send you a second email to announce when we are opening entries (next week), to our Silverstone finale.