Smart Motorsport’s Laurence Davey made a solid start to the defence of his 2010 title at the opening two rounds of the 2011 campaign at Brands Hatch Indy circuit last weekend (26/27 March).
The reigning UK CPC Legends National champion, from Hooley, Surrey came away from the weekend in a strong position in sixth overall with 805 points on the table, despite crashing out of the opening Heat.
This year, Davey will be partnered by Nathan Anthony and Paul Simmons at Smart Motorsport – sponsored by getanewvan.com. The trio made good use of Friday’s two free practice sessions, with Davey and Anthony gaining valuable set-up data.
The opening Heat of the season did not go to plan for Horley-based Smart Motorsport. From his position of 5th on the grid, a slower car in front forced Davey to brake hard as he approached Paddock Hill Bend from the lights. Punted from behind, Davey collided with the slower car, was sent into a spin, and out of contention.
From his front row position, Anthony made a strong start on a wet but drying track and was in sight of the leading quintet. However, his choice to run with full wet tyres on a drying track would blight any further progress and Anthony was forced to settle for a mid-pack finish from the 24 starters.
Simmons, after struggling with set-up during free practice, elevated his Ford Coupe Smart Motorsport Legend to finish one place behind Anthony in 13th from 17th on the grid.
Heat 2 got under way with Davey powering away from 14th at the lights to be running 8th at the close of lap 1, just 2.5 seconds behind the leader. However a fuel starvation problem resulted in the 2010 champion crossing the line in a disappointing ninth place.
Anthony improved his finishing position by one place after a solid drive in Heat 2. A broken throttle cable on lap 4 forced Paul Simmons Smart Motorposrt/getanewvan.com Ford Coupe out of proceedings.
The final race of the day saw Davey take the chequered flag just six tenths of a second behind Final winner John Mikel. Anthony posted his best finish of the day, climbing into the top ten, whilst Simmons’ difficult day continued with his second non-finish after a collision with Chris Bell forced him to retire on the opening lap.
A change of weather on Sunday for Round 2 brought about a much brighter set of results for the reigning champion. A second place in the opening heat was followed by a solid 8th in the second.
Starting from 15th for the the final race. Davey made a spirited start, and after a dramatic first half edged into the lead on lap 7, holding off the advances of Belcher to take the chequered flag by 0.369s, and his first race win of the campaign.
Anthony, starting on pole for the Heat 1, drove a strong race and was unlucky to be edged out of a podium spot but secured his best-ever Legends finish in fifth. A second top ten finish ensued in Heat 2, before claiming 8th in the 12-lap Final.
Simmons finished the first heat in 17th, before adding more points to his season’s tally with a 14th in Heat 2. Starting the Final from the second row, Simmons was embroiled within the podium fight throughout the opening exchanges but a collision on lap 3 forced the no.9 off the track in spectacular fashion, ending his weekend’s racing prematurely.
With a significant points tally amassed from the opening two rounds, Smart Motorsport / getanewvan.com will move on to Rounds 3 & 4 at Donington Park over the Easter Weekend of 23-24 April in buoyant mood.
Brands Hatch Indy Race Results:
Heat 1: 1. Morton, 2. Treherne, 3. Bunn, 12. ANTHONY, 13. SIMMONS, DNF DAVEY
Heat 2: 1. Treherne, 2. Belcher, 3. Mickel, 9. DAVEY, 11. ANTHONY, DNF SIMMONS
FINAL: 1. Mickel, 2. DAVEY, 3. Power, 10. ANTHONY, DNF SIMMONS
Heat 1: 1. Brace, 2. DAVEY, 3. Mickel, 5. ANTHONY, 17. SIMMONS
Heat 2: 1. Treherne, 2. Mickel, 3. Belcher, 8. DAVEY, 10. ANTHONY, 14. SIMMONS
FINAL: 1. DAVEY, 2. Belcher, 3. Brace, 8. ANTHONY, DNF SIMMONS
1. Belcher (950), 2. Treherne (900), 3. Mickel (890), 6. DAVEY (805), 8. ANTHONY (640), 19. SIMMONS (175)
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Release issued by Mark Shippey | Shippey PR | 07971 028 530 | email@example.com