Kyle Branson wins British season finale
The 9th and final Round of this years BRCA 1/8th circuit Championship was hosted by the Mendip raceway in Weston Super Mare. With all the main drivers present, the fight was to secure 3rd place in the overall GT1 Championship after the title was decided in favour of Kyle Branson at the previous round with a perfect score of 6 wins from 8 rounds. Tim Wood was also in an secure position in second but relinquishes his title which he had owned for the last 3 consecutive seasons. The GP2 title for drivers with a lower driver skill ranking would also be decided over the weekend with Jason Thompson having the chance to overtake current leader Greg Fairlie.
Saturday was dry with good levels of grip to allow all the drivers to fine tune their cars and engines. It was noticeable that the quickest drivers were the usual suspects of Mark Green and Kyle Branson. The closest rivals were Andy North, Neil Diver, Richard Hicklin and Tim Wood. The gaggle behind was led by Irish man Clive Connolly, Daniel Bancroft, Pete Hastings, Andy Hastings, Jason Frost, John Carr and Dan Jones. All these drivers had a good chance of making the main final.
We arrived at the Track Sunday morning to find dry tarmac which was a surprise due to some overhead dark clouds. After the drivers briefing, a minor shower came down and prevented any meaningful practice in heat order. Round one started with a dry track but the grip levels remained low for a short period but this didn’t stop representative times from being registered. In Heat 5, Kyle Branson hit trouble which gave Mark Green the opportunity to TQ the round which he duly took advantage of. In Round 2, Mark Green increased his advantage with the first 20 lap result of the day and Kyle Branson also posted a time which moved him into the top 10. Round 3 saw Kyle begin to dominate the proceedings with a 20 lapper which was just 0.01 sec slower that Mark’s previous result but in the final round, Kyle did enough to ensure TQ with a result that was 1.6 sec quicker than Mark who dropped to third after being beaten by team mate Tim Wood after he completed 5 minutes without a fuel stop.
The top 10 were as follows:
1. Kyle Branson – Serpent / Sirio – 20 Laps 313.32 secs
2. Tim Wood – Serpent / Xceed – 20 Laps 314.91 secs
3. Mark Green – Serpent / Novarossi – 20 Laps 314.98 secs
4. Clive Connolly – Mugen / Novarossi /ATS – 19 Laps 302.44
5. Andy North – Mugen / IDM / Contact – 19 Laps 302.54 secs
6. Neil Diver – Shepherd / IDM – 19 Laps 303.38 secs
7. Andrew Hastings – Shepherd / IDM – 20 Laps 303.89 secs
8. Richard Hicklin – Serpent / Novaross1 / 19 laps 304.61
9. Jason Frost – Serpent / IDM – 19 Laps 305 secs
10. Daniel Bancroft – Motonica / VOX – 19 Laps 305.37 secs
The final started cleanly with 8 cars due to DNS for both Mugen cars of Andy North (Interference) and Clive Connolly (Seized engine bearing). Up front, it was Kyle, Mark and Tim who were slowly pulling away from the rest of the field. The first casualty upfront was Mark Green who suffered an engine cut but he managed to continue. Tim Wood was the next to go after 15 minutes when he stopped on track. Up front Kyle started to back off at the end of the main straight due to his car starting to bottom out over the bumps but on lap 92, he lost control and hit the concrete kerb which destroyed the front wheel. After a Marshall quickly recovered the car back to the pits for a check over and a new front tire, Kyle regained the race with his lead now down to just 1 lap. Mark Green at this stage was charging through the field and passed Neil Diver towards the end of the race to finish a strong second.
The final results are as follows:
1. Kyle Branson – Serpent / Sirio – 110 Laps
2. Mark Green – Serpent / Novarossi – 109 Laps
3. Neil Diver – Shepherd / IDM – 109 Laps
4. Andrew Hastings – Shepherd / IDM – 108 Laps
5. Richard Hicklin – Serpent / Novaross1 / 93 laps
6. Tim Wood – Serpent / Xceed – 55 Laps
7. Jason Frost – Serpent / IDM – 52 Laps
8. Daniel Bancroft – Motonica / VOX – 37 Laps
9. Clive Connolly – Mugen / Novarossi /ATS – DNS
10. Andy North – Mugen / IDM / Contact – DNS
With his third place finish, Neil Diver secured third place in the championship.
Thanks to Andy North for the report.