It was a sunny Silverstone race day on the International track configuration (1.85 miles). It was also a bonus to be in the F1 garages. The Puma Cup entries enjoyed cool shade inside and hot sun outside. As usual, the CSCC meeting ran to time and outwardly without any issues. The event programme ran to a well ordered timescale and in most instances early.
We welcomed back Luke Johnson and father Barry. Barry had been in hospital recently, but looked remarkably fit and healthy. The Panda Team would see the usual pairing of Hamish Brandon and Rob Ladbrook reduced as MNs Rob would be carrying on his day job at a GT meeting elsewhere. The 30 minute qualifying session was conducted under a hot sun, but the pitlane was in shadow and therefore cooler. Hamish Brandon set a quick time and spent a few minutes outside his garage anxiously watching the other driver times. He was mainly looking out for Luke Johnson in his immaculate blue Puma. As the session was signalled to a finish, it was Hamish Brandon who claimed the fastest time at 1:24.285 and Luke Johnson second quickest with 1:24.754. In third place was Nick Jackson with a 1:25.960.
The race proved equally impressive, marred only by one small incident when Luke Johnson was coming in for his mandatory pit-stop only to be brake shocked by a VW who thought 30 mph was the pit limit. That apart, the standard of mandatory stops was probably the best yet. with all drivers coming in and completing their ‘out and back in’ very smartly. Hamish Brandon looked very comfortable in the lead, which he would maintain to the Chequered Flag. The second placed car of Luke Johnson also had a secure distance between the battle for third and that initially belonged to Jamie Clare literally until the last knockings when a dramatic but fair move secured 3rd for Nick Jackson from Jamie Clare by a whisper margin of 0.822 of one second. That after they had run over some forty one and a half minutes. It was the Puma Cup’s pleasure to welcome Richard Bernard, MD of Nextec to present the winners their awards which included the eye-catching Dunlop winners hats. Congratulations to the podium winners and also thank you to Richard Bernard.
The next outing will be at Mallory Park. I must apologise as some competitors have had some difficulty with finding details of this event. This was my fault and I apologise. (Kevin Shortis).