MR2 championship - Race Reports & TV Coverage

MR2 Championship - April 29th 2012
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit

It was honours even at Brands Hatch as Guy Hefford and Paul Hinson shared the victories in rounds 3 and 4 of the 2012 Toyota MR2 Championship.

The morning qualifying session was run in very wet conditions as the 32 cars battled the elements to set a competitive time on the grid for the afternoon’s two races. The aforementioned Hefford and Hinson hogged the front row for themselves, Paul on pole for the first race with Guy in second, and vice versa for the later round – their 2nd fastest times that determined the positions for race 2 were identical, Guy setting his just before Paul to bag him the pole position. George Robinson continued his promising start to the season with third place for both races, his times just hundredths of a second away from the front row. The Wells family fared well with Steven, Michael and Robert all inside the top 10 for race 1, Robert just outside in 11th for race 2.

Northampton’s Luke Austin put in a heroic effort to take 4th on the grid for race 1 after weeks of rebuilding work following his accidents at Silverstone last month. The Force India employee admitted to having upset the neighbours during the rebuild, but the effort was certainly worth it! Stuart Nicholls was once again the fastest of the Class C Mk3 cars – a superb 6th on the grid for race 2 - ahead of improving rookie Jim Davies, Stuart’s father Mick and debutant, and Rogue Motorsport mechanic Craig Hamilton.

The first race got underway on a damp but quickly drying track. Hefford got a superb start to get ahead of poleman Hinson and lead into Paddock with Austin, Robinson, Steven and Michael Wells, series veteran Clive Morphett, Robert Wells, Stuart Nicholls, Connor Hambleton and Matt Palmer. Starting at the back with a 10sec penalty were Mark Warren-Leighton and Paul Hutson, their cars’ brake systems being found to be outside the regulations during scrutineering. Hefford started to build a gap over the first few laps while erstwhile pole sitter Hinson went backwards, suffering from a lack of grip due to tyres coated with oil from a leak in the paddock. His efforts to clean them up with petrol clearly weren’t as successful as he’d hoped! Robinson began to reel Hefford in from lap 6, Guy not helping himself by running wide at Paddock and putting two wheels in the gravel. The gap between the matt black car and the dark purple one was never more than a second but try as he might, young George couldn’t find a way by. Guy held on to win by a scant half a second, his jubilation at the win evident by those who could see him punching the steering wheel with delight inside the car! Palmer drove a scintillating race to battle up to 3rd from 8th on the grid, another podium to add to his one from Silverstone last month. Hinson got back to 4th with Stuart Nicholls a fine 5th overall, and class C victor, after taking both Austin and Michael Wells on the final lap.

Perfect track conditions awaited the drivers for race 2, Hefford once again getting the better start – from pole this time – to lead Hinson, Steven and Michael Wells, Robinson and co into Paddock. Guy went wide again at Paddock starting lap 2, Hinson needing no second invitation to slip by into the lead. Michael Wells also took advantage to take 2nd leaving a recovering Hefford with Robinson snapping at his exhaust. Steven Wells spun out of 5th place at Druids on lap 4, was narrowly avoided by Stuart Nicholls and Hambleton but, sadly, was collected head-on by the luckless Austin. The damage to both cars was considerable and they limped to the side of circuit, game over. The drivers, fortunately, were perfectly okay, Luke being checked over at the medical centre as a precaution. Hinson, Wells, Robinson and Hefford continued apace, Paul never losing the lead but the places behind him changing as Guy moved back up to 2nd after his early error. Unfortunately, another grassy moment put paid to his challenge at Clearways, Wells and Robinson gratefully nipped through and Hefford retired the car at the foot of Paddock with a technical issue. His consolation, though, was a new lap record in 57.63s. Robinson squeezed past Wells 4 laps from home but Michael was delighted with 3rd, his first time on the podium. Palmer had another tigerish drive, from 9th to 4th with Devonian Ben Rowe an even bigger improver, from 12th to 5th. Hambleton capped a successful weekend in the bright orange Mk2 with 6th, ahead of Robert Wells, class C winner Stuart Nicholls – unbeaten so far this year – Morphett and rookie Davies, a terrific result for the youngster in the Mk3.

Paul Hinson has set his mark on the championship so far this year with three wins out of four races but Guy Hefford, George Robinson, the Wells boys and Luke Austin, if he can find some good luck, certainly won’t make it easy for him. Cadwell Park at the end of May is the venue for rounds 5 and 6; it should be a thriller!

Report and photographs by Gary Walton.

designed by Maximum Designs ©2013 MR2 Championship Ltd designed by

Latest News

2014 Calendar now available!
27 January 2014

The 2014 MR2 Championship will grow to encompass 8 rounds including Castle Combe. Check out the full line-up of circuits here: 2014...more

Contact Us

MR2 Championship Ltd
Units 5 & 6 Blue Lias Industrial Estate
Rugby Road
Stockton, Warwickshire
CV47 8HN

Tel: (01926) 810104
Fax: (01926) 815753

Email: General Enquiries