The Lotus Cup UK Speed Championship season reached an exciting climax at Brands Hatch on 29 October, with the Production championship up for grabs between frontrunner Nigel Hannam and 2014 overall champion Xavier Brooke.
With its iconic status, vast motorsport heritage and famous sweeping Paddock Hill bend, Brands Hatch was the ideal location for a showdown. The occasion drew almost 30 Lotus drivers, all eagerly awaiting the opening practice session.
Practice took place in the morning over two back-to-back sessions on a damp track. Martin Roberts, Nick Emery, Rob Holt, Terrence Baker, and Stuart Cheshire all had spins, with Mark Swarbrick managing this three times in one run. The tarmac soon dried out, ready for the three timed runs in the afternoon.
Philip Stratton-Lake claimed a point for the fastest practice run, meaning that neither Hannam nor Brooke could claim an early advance. Hannam drew first blood with the quickest time in the first timed run, whilst Brooke, who had no prior knowledge of the Indy circuit, could only manage third place overall, almost eight tenths of a second adrift.
Second time around the pair were second and third respectively, but the gap between them had grown to a second. It expanded again in the final run, by almost another half-second, and the title-battling pair had to give best time of the day to SuperSport runner Nick Emery. Despite losing the fight on the track, however, Brooke had enough of a points advantage heading into the weekend to edge Hannam for the Production title by just a single point. While Duncan Fraser had already tied up the SuperSport title.
Lotus Cup UK Speed Championship round nine result
Production: 1st Nigel Hannam, 2nd Xavier Brooke, 3rd Phil Stratton-Lake
Production Modified: 1st Stephen Morrison, 2nd Simon Foley, 3rd Andy Pidgeon
Supersport: 1st James Tubby, 2nd Stuart Cheshire, 3rd Russell Whitworth
Supersport Modified: 1st Nick Emery, 2nd Rob Clark, 3rd Paul Neale
Lotus Cup UK Speed Championship titles
Production: Xavier Brooke
SuperSport: Duncan Fraser
Final points – http://www.lcukspeed.com/standings
Words: Karen Harvey – Images: In Motion Images