Oliver Bryant Racing

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29th April 2007

Oliver Claims another 2 Class Win in HGTCC and two Overall Podiums

Irish racers Jackie Cochrane and Stephen Colbert claimed an impressive double victory as the Charterhouse Heritage GT Car Challenge provided some of the best supporting action to the A1 GP feature races at Brands Hatch (28/29 April).

Cochrane’s Sunbeam Tiger proved to be the class of the superb 40-car field, although stern challenges from Grahame and Oliver Bryant (Morgan +8) and Andy Rouse/Stuart Hall (Chevrolet Camaro) ensured that the huge crowd was well entertained by the Heritage field.


Although it was nearly 30 years since Cochrane had raced on the Brands Grand Prix circuit, Colbert had a lot more recent experience and duly planted the Tiger on pole, with a useful margin over the Hall/Rouse Camaro. The Bryant Morgan was third fastest and shared the second row of the fabulous grid with the Plus 8 of Chris Williams.

Other leading contenders fared less well in qualifying, with Tom Alexander/Michael Bentwood down in 16th as they adjusted back to their Aston Martin DB4 after racing the latest DB9 in British GT events. One place behind the DB4 was the V8 of Bob Searles/Tony Jardine, which was struggling on the exit of Surtees.

Race One

Andy Rouse started the Camaro and blasted ahead of Cochrane on the dash up to Druids on the first lap to take the lead. Further back, Chris Scragg spun into the gravel after a brake bias problem. “When I braked hard, it spun round like a top,” he said. Up front, Rouse was flying and immediately went clear as Cochrane and Grahame Bryant chased, with Chris Williams going after them until a spin at Surtees cost him a lot of time. With Rouse extending his lead, Cochrane had his hands full of the Bryant Morgan until the safety car was called out on lap five. Rikki Cann’s Aston Martin V8 was in the gravel at Clearways and took a couple of laps to remove.

With the pit-stop window now open, many crews opted to stop while the safety car was out. But the Rouse/Hall Camaro stayed out, and the time lost would cost them dear in the final results. From the restart, Stephen Colbert and Oliver Bryant were nose-to-tail and even went each side of the Nathalie.

Boyd/Mike Youles Mini Cooper at the bottom of Paddock on the first racing lap. For several laps it made a glorious sight as two talented young chargers battled, but eventually the power of the Tiger told and the gap started to increase. “The Morgan just doesn’t have the puff,” said Grahame Bryant.

While Colbert eased clear for a fine victory, Hall/Rouse recovered from their later pit stop to take third, although Stuart parked the Camaro just after the flag, feeling that something was amiss with the front suspension. “It was getting worse and worse over the last few laps,” he said.

A fine run from the Peter Wheeler/Ben Samuelson Aston Martin DB4 was rewarded with fourth place from the Phil Hollins Morgan +8 and another DB4 in the hands of Conor O’Brien/Charlie Kemp. A spare gearbox, delivered on Saturday morning by Colin Blower, got the O’Brien Aston ready for a good result.

Searles/Jardine were pleased to climb up to seventh, while Jamie Boot took an excellent class B victory in ninth place behind the George Miller/Les Goble Aston Martin V8. “Fantastic! Really good fun,” said Boot.

In class A, Gordon Streeter got his Ford Anglia to the line first, but had to push hard as the Boyd/Youles Mini chased valiantly.

  • 1 Jackie Cochrane/Stephen Colbert (Sunbeam Tiger) 23 laps in 40m58.947s (124.70kph)
  • 2 Grahame Bryant/Oliver Bryant (Morgan +8) 41m03.516s
  • 3 Stuart Hall/Andy Rouse (Chevrolet Camaro)
  • 4 Peter Wheeler/Ben Samuelson (Aston Martin DB4)
  • 5 Phil Hollins (Morgan +8)
  • 6 Conor O’Brien/Charlie Kemp (Aston Martin DB4)
  • 7 Bob Searles/Tony Jardine (Aston Martin DBS V8)
  • 8 George Miller/Les Goble (Aston Martin V8)
  • 9 Jamie Boot (TVR Griffith)
  • 10 John Dickson/Cheng Lim (Ram Cobra)
Class winners:
  • Gordon Streeter (Ford Anglia)
  • Boot
  • Bryant/Bryant
  • Cochrane/Colbert

Fastest lap: Cochrane/Colbert 1m36.982s (137.50kph)

Race two

Racing straight after the second A1P race ensured that a big crowd witnessed Sunday’s race, which ended with a red flag but delivered some of the most spectacular racing of the weekend.

Away from the rolling start, Oliver Bryant got the drop on the opposition but as the huge field poured through Westfield for the first time, there was drama in the middle of the pack. Robin North’s Ford Mustang and the Aston Martin DB4GT of Peter Thornton touched and both went off into the gravel, requiring a safety car intervention.

The lengthy safety car period took the teams to the pit stop window and a number of cars pitted, including Bryant and Cochrane. That left Andy Rouse in the lead and pushing hard but when he pitted to hand over to Stuart Hall, Peter Horsman’s Morgan +8 took the lead.

The Aston Martin of George Miller/Les Goble’s lost time in the pits when the door wouldn’t shut properly, but when it rejoined Goble was soon one to watch.With all the pit stops done, Colbert led from Hall, Bryant, Nigel Hulme (in for Horsman) and then Roy McCarthy who had brought the family MGB GT V8 up to fifth place from the tail of the grid. Into tenth was Tony Jardine in Bob Searles’ Aston. Jardine, ever versatile, was working for Sky Sports’ A1GP coverage when the race started, and having finished his piece to camera, picked up his kit bag, rushed up the pit lane, changed into his overalls and hopped into the car!

Also on the move was Michael Bentwood who was charging and soon latched on to the tail of Samuelson. As the two duelled, Samuelson got Clearways wrong and ended up in the gravel at Clark Curve leaving the Aston stuck fast. The red flags flew with the race having done 75% of its duration, and although

Samuelson’s off precipitated the stoppage, he was kept in the results.

Colbert and Cochrane were confirmed as the winners. “It was really enjoyable. Thanks to Jackie for letting me drive, and it was really good fun,” said Colbert. “We had some good dices this weekend and I am just pleased to have done the job for Jackie.”

Hall and Rouse bagged second. “The safety car early on meant that I couldn’t get many racing lap in,” said Rouse. “That really cost us, but these things happen.”

Third fell to the Bryant Morgan whilst Goble/Miller, after a tremendous charge, took fourth ahead of Roy and Russell McCarthy with Samuelson being classified sixth.

Horsman/Hulme took ninth overall and class B spoils, while Harvey Death/Clive Death took their indecently quick Austin Cooper S to class A victory, but it was always close as Streeter and Boyd/Youles finished within four seconds of the class winners.

The invitation class fell to Malcolm Young and Andy Jenkinson, which was consolation for both drivers. Young’s Aston Martin had failed to start Saturday’s race, whilst Jenkinson’s Camaro suffer terminal mechanical problems. Young offered Jenkinson a drive for Sunday and having never raced the big Aston V8 before, Jenkinson duly brought it home 14th overall.

  • 1 Jackie Cochrane/Stephen Colbert (Sunbeam Tiger) 15 laps in 28m56.516s (115.20kph)
  • 2 Stuart Hall/Andy Rouse (Chevrolet Camaro) 29m10.976s
  • 3 Grahame Bryant/Oliver Bryant (Morgan +8)
  • 4 George Miller/Les Goble (Aston Martin V8)
  • 5 Roy McCarthy/Russell McCarthy (MGB GTV8)
  • 6 Peter Wheeler/Ben Samuelson (Aston Martin DB4)
  • 7 Tom Alexander/Michael Bentwood (Aston Martin BD4)
  • 8 Chris Scragg/John Bussell (Aston Martin V8)
  • 9 Peter Horsman/Nigel Hulme (Morgan +8)
  • 10 Bob Searles/Tony Jardine (Aston Martin DBS V8)
Class winnners:
  • Harvey Death/Clive Death (Mini Cooper S)
  • Horsman/Hulme
  • Bryant/Bryant
  • Cochrane/Colbert

Fastest lap: Cochrane/Colbert 1m37.118s (137.30kph)