Brehaut ‘chuffed’ to clock the fastest time of the day

UNWELCOME rainfall and a few accidents crashed the party at the biennial Reservoir Speed Event – but Steve Brehaut still had good cause for celebration.

So, too, did the four class record-breakers who tamed the tricky conditions in the twisty St Saviour’s event.

Compared to the regular Le Val des Terres hill climbs, it is an event that happens only every two years, making for a special occasion every time it does go ahead.

It comes with its own challenges too – starting with a downhill section and initial right-hand turn, it transitions into a long left and uphill rise towards the finish line.

The worst of the rain thankfully did not materialise until mid-afternoon.

That meant that several competitors managed to bank fairly quick times beforehand, in Brehaut’s case a 22.15sec. ‘FTD’.

Brehaut upgraded to his Resolution IT Empire Evo race-car only a year ago and is reaping the rewards, on this occasion taking the scalp of Nick Saunders, the man who has dominated the ‘Valdees’ event of late.

It is anyone’s guess who would have come out on top here had these front-runners managed to fit in more than two timed runs.

Some competitors were lucky enough to get three, while others ended their day on the first, with the unfortunate karters getting a disproportionate slice of the crashes.

Early-starter Tony Mollet was the main casualty of the day.

A kart-flipping crash from Mollet held up the programme upwards of an hour, and though he went to hospital as a precaution, he is not seriously injured.

Proceedings eventually resumed and it was the two Tims – Tulie and Torode – leading after the first set of runs.

At the sharp end of the programme, Wheeler Developments Mallock driver Torode posted a very decent 22.75 to take the lead, only for Tulie and his one-litre Empire 00 to go 0.08 quicker in the very next run.

It was in the second run that the eventual top duo came to the fore.

Saunders threw down a quick 22.61 – exactly 1.5sec. off his class record from 2017 – but then came that superb winning effort from Brehaut.

The Tims remained third and fourth after failing to improve their times.

Tim Torode is always entertaining to watch as he pushes his Mallock to the limit. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29675791)

‘I’m pretty chuffed to get the “FTD” today,’ Brehaut said afterwards.

‘To be about a second off the record when the conditions are like this, I’m pretty happy with that.

‘Obviously, conditions haven’t been brilliant, but good enough to get a few runs in – a few accidents, but everyone’s well, that’s the main thing.’

It is only Brehaut’s second outing on this course, and his first in his new car, but he is definitely a fan.

‘We only race once here every two years, so you’re not able to learn the course well. You only get, maybe, five or six runs on a good day,’ he added.

‘It’s hard to learn where the limits are.

‘But it’s a good course – it’s a different challenge to Val des Terres, so it’s nice to get the car somewhere different and have a bit of fun.’

From ‘Valdees’ to this different course – Lee Poole knows how to impress.

The promising newcomer posted 26.44 to win convincingly the largest class of the day, a 15-way battle for the road-going series production cars up to 2000 honours.

That also clipped a small margin off the class record, previously Josh Baker’s 26.55. Better yet, it came in his second run as the rain was starting to really come down.

Another newbie making his mark was Nick Mann.

In the unlimited road-going specialist production cars, Mann overcame a power advantage on his rivals to win the class honours with 25.41 and edge down Daryl Yeates’ record.

Chris Guille finished not far off that with 25.81 and therefore lowered his own mark in the up to 1400cc equivalent.

The other record-setter was Sam de Carteret, whose 25.19 shaved a mere four-hundredths off Tim Le Pelley’s sports libre G 1401 to 1800 standard, which has stood since the inaugural Reservoir event six years ago.

On two wheels, Tony Poynder’s leading 25.37 run gave him over a second’s breathing room on Leigh Digard (26.42) and even more on young Josh Lambourne (26.92).

The latter proved quite handy on his 125 Suzuki RM, but not enough to beat his own class record.

Among the bigger bikes, Jade Ferbrache posted a 28.38 on her Honda CBR 600RR for women’s honours.

And so begins a lengthy wait for the next Reservoir event, but this year it is merely the first half of a special double-bill of alternative events, with last year’s postponed Imperial hill-climb set for September.

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