All things American at Brands Hatch
It cannot have escaped many readers notice that our range has something of an American feel recently. Not only do we have some new liveries on the old favourites of Mustangs, Camaros and the AMC Javelin, but we also have some more up-to-date stock cars, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo of 1986 and, new for this year, the Ford Thunderbird also from the 1980s.
Living in Kent it isn’t too often that I get to see full bloodied stock cars racing, and while some series that race in the UK do have a number of V8s in them, a whole field of stock cars is somewhat rare.
This means that when the annual American SpeedFest is at Brands it really is an event not to be missed!
The race card is bursting with Americana and the whole site becomes a little slice of America for the weekend, with muscle cars and pickup trucks everywhere, as well as monster trucks and big SUVs adding to the ambience.
For the classic American race fans, the UK-based series Bernie’s V8s was out in full force. Catering for pretty much any car as long as it has that all important V8 engine, the series is no stranger to Brands Hatch but was bolstered by some overseas competitors this weekend, who brought over some really exciting and unusual machinery.
While the races were full of the aforementioned Camaros and Mustangs, it was actually something from a bit closer to home that triumphed in all three races, the (not so) humble Ford Escort MK1! But this was no ordinary Escort, a closer look revealed an AJP V8 under the bonnet, propelling this humble Ford straight past the assembled throngs of Cobras and the like. To watch it drift round the tight confines of Druids hairpin was really something to see!
Also supporting the main event were races for pickup trucks, silhouette racers and the little 3/4 scale bike powered Legends, which as ever provided some excellent racing with the whole pack bump drafting down the straights and going 3 even 4 wide into the bends.
But the main event was the annual visit for the NASCAR Whelan Euro Series. This is a development series for the full fat NASCAR series in the States and saw some excellent racing.
The series is made up of two categories, Elite 1 and Elite 2, with drivers in the team sharing the same car but with a break between the races.
Some F1 stardust was also sprinkled on the series with the entry of 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, who performed well in his first meeting in these cars.
The cars themselves are silhouette racers based upon Mustangs, Camaros and Impalas and they certainly looked the part!
Racing room was hardly given and in the summer heat the tyres took a real pounding, with the drivers visibly struggling in the cars to keep both traction and continue to lap at a reasonable pace.
They really were a spectacle worth seeing with the cars filling the tight lines of the Kent circuit. They visit various circuits over Europe but will be back at Brands Hatch next year and if you want some quality stock car action before then, look no further than our brilliant C1383 set!
Credit and thanks, as ever, goes to Gary Hawkins for the excellent photos!