Results > 1st-3rd July 2016 - Brands Hatch GP

Hibberd at the double

Historic Formula 3 Championship

Brands Hatch,

2/3 July 2016

Hibberd at the double

Andrew Hibberd was the star of the weekend with a double victory in rounds five and six of the HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship at Brands Hatch over the weekend (2/3 July).

An excellent field of 25 cars arrived for the ‘Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix’ on the Grand Prix circuit, including several championship newcomers and a very welcome group of racers from mainland Europe.

In qualifying on Friday it was James Denty who took pole on a guest appearance in the ex-Mo Nunn Lotus 41 of Klaus Bergs, one of three 41s in the entry. Denty was half a second faster than Simon Armer (March 703) as Peter Thompson (Brabham BT21) and Francois Derossi (Chevron B17) completed the top four. Hibberd was fifth fastest in the ex-Chris Irwin Brabham BT18 despite ending the session early with a spin into the gravel.

Welcome newcomers included Mark Pangborn, eighth fastest in his recently restored ex-Frank Williams team Brabham BT28. However, right at the back of the grid was Cadwell Park winner Jon Milicevic (Brabham BT21B) after he suffered fuel pump failure before completing a flying lap.

Armer got the jump on Denty into the first race and led the opening laps as Hibberd quickly started to move up the order. “I got a terrible start,” admitted Denty after the race. By the end of the first lap Hibberd was into third and dived past Denty going into Surtees for the second time. Out on the Grand Prix loop Hibberd got ahead of Armer and led the leading quartet over the line at the end of the second lap. “Andrew was going far too fast for me,” said Armer.

Lap by lap, Hibberd was able to stretch his lead as Denty nipped past Armer under braking for Paddock on lap three. While Hibberd eased away, there were great battles down the order as Armer came back at Denty, Pangborn moved up to challenge Thompson for fourth and three cars fought for sixth as Marcus Mussa (Tecno), Jim Blockley (Chevron B17) and Derossi ran close together.

Meanwhile, Milicevic had made good progress from the back of the grid and was heading for a top six finish when he suffered driveshaft failure and retired. Back at the head of the race, Hibberd ran out a comfortable winner. “The car is going really nicely and I’m still getting used to it. But I’m really enjoying it,” said Hibberd.

Armer wrested second place back from Denty at Druids and Thompson finally edged clear of Pangborn. It was so close for second at the flag as Armer beat Denty to the line by six-hundredths of a second.

Behind Thompson and Pangborn, Derossi completed the top six from Mussa while Christoph Widmer (Brabham BT18A) and Keith Messer (Vesey) had a great tussle for eighth, which went to Widmer by thirteen-hundredths of a second.

In Sunday’s second race, Denty led only as far as Surtees before Hibberd nipped ahead to take a lead that he extended steadily throughout the race. Denty ran second until he cut the engine past the pits and pulled off, recognising that it had lapsed onto three cylinders. Derossi was another retirement when the oil temperature started to climb.

Instead, second place became the subject of an entertaining battle between Thompson, Armer and the increasingly rapid Pangborn. Later in the race, Armer dropped away in fourth but Thompson and Pangborn battled to the line, with Thompson only half a second ahead after a race-long contest. Other excellent battles ran down the field including that between Widmer and Mussa for fifth, which only ended when Mussa slowed and pulled off on the last lap.

Leif Bosson (Brabham BT28) and Chris Holland (Brabham BT21) raced hard for what became sixth when Mussa retired while another excellent dice raged for eighth as Clas Muller (Brabham BT28), Geoffrey O’Nion (Tecno) and Maurice Slotine (Merlyn Mk14A) completed the top 10 after a spirited contest.

Paul Lawrence

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