Paul Sheard Autos

BRSCC MX5 Supercup Brands Hatch Rounds 3&4

Posted by Paul Sheard Autos - Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:02

Paul Sheard Racing made a strong impression at last weekend's BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup round at Brands Hatch, claiming pole position, a new lap record and their first victory of the season. The #18 and #19 cars of Paul Sheard and David Chapman finished in the top 3 in both races, making it 4 podiums from 4 races for the team and firmly establishing themselves as championship contenders in 2014.

When pre-race testing began on Friday morning, the team of 5 Paul Sheard Racing cars made good use of their track time to get familiar with the Kent circuit. 2013 race winner David Chapman and endurance racing specialist Clint Bardwell set the early pace with 55-second lap times despite the cold and damp weather. Darren Standing made good progress throughout the day, while Adam Brindle and Jim Hart both had their testing hindered by minor incidents - Adam became a victim of the overly strict track limits rules, receiving a harsh penalty for three small mistakes, and Jim suffered some car damage after a spin at Druids corner. Paul Sheard and Julian Taylor were both absent from testing and would make their first on-track appearance on Saturday, though Paul was present in the team awning as always to help keep things running smoothly - and to help his side take victory in the paddock football match on Friday evening!

Overnight the weather changed dramatically and bright sunshine greeted the drivers for qualifying early on Saturday morning. With 21 cars on track for the 15-minute session, keeping clear of traffic was difficult, but David Chapman managed to find some space on the track to set the pole position time (despite a brief trip through the gravel) ahead of experienced MX-5 racer Tom Roche. The even more experienced Paul Sheard qualified 5th after having his fastest laps spoiled by traffic, and just fractions of a second behind him was Clint Bardwell in 7th. Darren Standing and Adam Brindle finished 11th and 13th respectively, but with only 2 seconds covering the top 18 cars they were confident of moving up in the races.

The first race was delayed after an oil spill in one of the previous events, but when things got underway it was Tom Roche who took the early lead. However, a mistake on the first lap allowed David Chapman to move past and extend his lead throughout the race for a comfortable win. The battle for 2nd place was anything but comfortable, and Paul Sheard found himself fighting for position with a group of 5 cars which also included Clint Bardwell. Both drivers held their places at the front of the pack, but Clint's race came to an early end when he was spun around by another driver and then shoved off the track a few laps later. Paul held off challenges from several competitors and maintained 4th place for the majority of the 20-minute race, eventually finishing 3rd after overtaking Abbie Eaton with two laps remaining. After an intense battle for 10th with Adam Brindle, Darren Standing was also the victim of an attack from another driver. The impact was enough to send him spinning across the grass and nearly tear the car's rear bumper off, but Darren recovered well to finish 12th. Adam ended up 14th after a spin on lap 11, with Julian Taylor just behind him in 15th, and Jim Hart finished 18th after a race-long battle with Jeremy Crook in which he set his fastest lap of the weekend.

After a few hours to make adjustments to car setups and repair any damage from the first race, race two started at 5pm on Saturday evening. David Chapman made a slow start from pole position and was then hit by another driver, leaving him 14th after the first corner and allowing Mike Comber to take the lead with Paul Sheard right behind him. The pair immediately broke away at the front and Paul was soon 5 seconds clear of 3rd-placed Abbie Eaton. Half way into the race, David Chapman had made his way through into 2nd with Paul just behind, and would soon catch up to race leader Mike Comber. The pair crossed the finish line side by side but it was Comber who won by just 5-hundredths of a second. Paul Sheard scored his second podium of the day in 3rd, and Darren Standing took an impressive 8th - his third top-10 finish of the year. Clint Bardwell made up 10 places from the back of the grid to take 11th, Julian Taylor improved on his race 1 result in 13th, and Jim Hart had another consistent drive to finish 19th. The unlucky Adam Brindle spun out of 15th place on the final lap and was unable to get his car out of the gravel trap.

The team now has a 6-week break before the third round of the championship at Cadwell Park on June 14th/15th. With three drivers in the top five places in the championship, it looks like being another successful year for Paul Sheard Racing.


Race Results


Race 1 (22 laps):

1. David Chapman 20m50.740s (76.49 mph)

2. Mike Comber + 8.415s

3. Paul Sheard + 12.190s


12. Darren Standing + 41.736s

14. Adam Brindle + 50.197s

15. Julian Taylor + 53.929s

18. Jim Hart + 1 lap

DNF. Clint Bardwell.


Race 2 (22 laps):

1. Mike Comber 20m53.771s (76.30 mph)

2. David Chapman + 0.050s

3. Paul Sheard + 6.929s


8. Darren Standing + 14.936s

11. Clint Bardwell + 24.003s

13. Julian Taylor + 38.107s

19. Jim Hart + 1 lap

DNF. Adam Brindle.


Championship Standings:

1. Mike Comber 400pts

2. David Chapman 395pts

3. Abbie Eaton 372pts


5. Darren Standing 338pts

8. Julian Taylor 300pts

12. Clint Bardwell 266pts

15. Jim Hart 252pts

17. Adam Brindle 236pts

19. Paul Sheard 192pts

21. Justin Newnam 166pts.