Classic American news from Thruxton

Bernie’s Sports Racing & V8s were invited by the CSCC to race with their Special Saloons & Modsports, and several of us enjoyed, for the second year running, pushing our huge motor vehicles round Britain’s fastest circuit. Our friend Steve Havelock from Classic American car magazine was there with ball-point pen and camera. Two page spreads in the magazine are the result and I attach them complete for your interest.

Click to enlarge or download:

Brands Hatch GP 29 August 2020 Report

#43 Steve CHEETHAM Porsche Cayman S placed 2nd

Bernie’s Sports Racing & V8s with Gaz Shocks & Hoosier Tyres and the CALM All Porsche Trophy

40-minute pit stop race on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, Saturday 29th August 2020.

AUTOSPORT magazine, 3rd September 2020

Down at the far end of the Brands Hatch paddock, and away from the glamour of the British GT motorhomes, you might have been mistaken for thinking it was a meeting purely for club racers. As far as the eye could see there was an eclectic mix of machines that were taking part in the Bernie’s V8s and CALM Porsche Trophy contest, from Porsche Caymans and Boxsters to TVR Tuscans and MGB GTV8s, with everything in between. Many of them had been brought to the circuit via trailers hitched to cars in typical club racing fashion, with the opportunity to race around the Brands Hatch GP layout and in support of British GT too good a chance to miss for the 43 entries.

2nd fastest lap went to #98 Alex THISTLETHWAYTE in his Lola T70 Mk1 at 1’41.325 (Matt Holben quickest)

Pole position went to the Tuscan of Matt Ellis and Aaron Moyce, the latter taking part in only his second ever race after competing in the Bentley Drivers Club Allcomers contest at Silverstone the previous weekend. “We had a chat with Jack Mitchell [British GT driver] and it’s good to see the other end of the scale,” said Moyce. “Everyone is here to have a good day and good race. Everyone enjoys seeing everyone’s cars, especially these old cars.”

Winner #41 Graham WALDEN, TVR Tuscan Challenge RV8

Fellow front-row starter Christian Douglas took the lead in his Tuscan on the run to Paddock Hill Bend at the beginning of the 40-minute race as Graham Walden in his Tuscan Challenge RV8 moved into second, while Moyce dropped to seventh by the end of the opening lap. A lap later and any chance of the polesitting car being in contention for the win fell away as the cutout switch tripped, turning the car off. Although Moyce eventually rejoined, he and Ellis finished down in 32nd. Matt Holben in his Tuscan had moved into second by the end of lap four, and over the next few laps trimmed the lead to Douglas to get within one second approaching the halfway point. But then it was all change as first Douglas suffered a broken gearbox, handing the lead to Holben, only for his Tuscan to retire seconds later after suffering a suspected broken camshaft. The misfortune allowed Walden’s Tuscan to take up the mantle after the pitstops had been completed, having started third. Then his lead began to be whittled down in the final 10 minutes by the hard-charging Alex Thistlethwayte in his Lola T70 Mkl. He slashed the gap from 5.8s to 1.7s in the space of three laps
as the duo encountered traffic.

#93 Russell McCarthy, MGB GT V8, took 3rd

With a minute and a half left on the clock, the chequered flag was thrown with Walden holding on, as Thistlethwayte spun off at Clearways. Although he rejoined, he pulled into the pits and was unclassified, with his mistake promoting Steve Cheetham – the highest-placed runner in the CALM Porsche Trophy – into second, with Russell McCarthy’s MGB GTVB third, Steve Everson and Marcus Bicknell in the Logano Ford Ascar V8 ex-Rockingham car 4th and Cheng Lim and Phil James in the Cobra RAM 5th. Bernie’s Sports Racing & V8s driver of the day was Adam Chodosh who drive his ’55 Corvette from 18th on the grid to 8th.

“The GP circuit is great – my last race was here in September and I’ve not been in the car since then,” said Walden. “You’re guaranteed to get a race; there’s always someone you can race against!”


You can consult the full results of our 40 minute race at Brands Hatch GP on Saturday 29th August 2020 at the following link

Brands GP – The Maestro writes

Well ! A super day at Brands on Saturday. I don’t think it could have gone any better . Shame about the shortened practice , but at least the TVR driver apologised. The start looked frantic and everybody did their best not to have any contact. The odd hit here and there but overall very clean and tidy and the grid looked fantastic viewing from the grandstand . Great to see everybody social distancing and having a good time . There were battles all the way through the field with many cars making up positions both before and after the pit stops. Great to see all of our race cars proudly wearing our sponsors stickers.

Please send pictures and thanks to Hoosier Tyres(Looby) for all their gifts. I missed our prize giving, but the pictures say it all. Thanks to Giles for helping us this awkward season, and the combined Porsche series and more TVR’s made for a spectacular grid . Things will be tough next year and in my opinion , having full grids with similar like minded drivers and cars will be the norm . Let’s work hard with other series joining us . It works with the CSCC Mod sports, Porsche series and others can be included. Well done to the committee and Jane for organising the refreshments.

See you at Donington with the Mod Sports.


Spa One-hour 10-11 October 2020

NEWS: 10th/11th October 2020 at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium

We have been invited to take part in a new race that is being held at Spa for us, the Barry Sideways Spa One Hour Race. The cost for this race is going to be extremely keen at just 350 euros for 30 minutes qualifying and a 1 hour race ! Phenomenal value for that amount of track time at Spa.

More information is available here and or please contact Cheng Lim on 07836 699 339 for more information.

The annual event is a collaboration between Motor Classic (Vincent Collard who worked with Barry Sideways Smith for 20 years organising races at Spa) and Cheng Lim. This race accepts a wide variety of Classic Sports cars, GT’s, Touring and Saloon cars, built between the ’50s and the ’80s, except
* Caterhams, Westfields, Lotus 7 types and Crosslés are not accepted
* Open wheels, Formula, Single seater cars are not accepted
Cars must be presented in an appearance that reflects the period in which they raced.

Cheng says “I was once second on the grid between a genuine Lola T70 and a Chevron B16.” See the photo below

Fire extinguishers; the move to 4 litres and to 8mm piping

From 1st January 2022 a 4-litre plumbed extinguisher will be obligatory for circuit racing in the UK. So if you are fitting out a new car for racing or buying a new extginguisher because the old one is not accepted by the companies that service and refill them, then it is advisable NOT to buy one of the present 2-.25 litre ones. If you do, you will have to throw it away after next season. You will also have to throw away the 6 mm piping because 8mm nozzles and tubing are likely to be obligatory.

The MSUK regulations (Blue Book) ar given in full at

In addition to the regs on fire extinguishers shown below, Motorsport UK replied in February 2020 to a request for clarification:

“The minimum capacities for Small, Medium and Large extinguishers referenced in K3.1.2 are detailed in Table 3 on Page 176. For Circuit Racing 3.1.2(a) applies which is a minimum capacity of 2.25 litres AFFF. These minimum capacities apply to non-homologated extinguishers. For FIA homologated plumbed-in extinguishers (mandatory from 1st January 2022) the minimum capacity is defined by each individual system’s FIA homologation [note from Marcus Bicknell; which is 4 litres]

Hope this helps.
Best Regards
Michael Duncan, Technical Manager, Motorsport UK “

Excerpt from MSUK, July 2020: Fire Extinguishers

Existing vehicles competing prior to 1st January 2019 may comply with the following until 1st January 2022. Newbuild vehicles from 1st January 2019 must comply with Appendix 3.

3. A fire extinguisher/extinguishing system must be carried on all vehicles, the minimum requirement being that the system be charged with one of the permitted extinguishants and be operable by the driver whilst normally seated either by manual operation or by a mechanically/electrically assisted triggering system. All extinguishers must be serviced in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines, or every 24 months, whichever is sooner.

3.1. Capacities. Extinguishers are classified as Small, Medium or Large, and designated as Hand-Held or Plumbed-In. Drypowder extinguishers are prohibited.
3.1.1. Small, Hand operated. [1.75 litres]
3.1.2. (a) Medium, Plumbed-In, for discharge into both cockpit andengine compartment. [2.25 litres]
(b) Medium, Hand-Operated, for discharge into both cockpitand engine compartment. [1.75 litres]
3.1.3. Large, Plumbed-In, for discharge into both cockpit and engine compartment. [2.25 litres]
3.1.4. Large, Plumbed-In, [2.25 litres] for discharge into Engine compartment, plus Medium, [1.75 litres] Hand-Held for Driver or Rally Co-driver use.
3.1.5. Hand-operated for cockpit (International). [2.4 litres]
3.1.6. Permitted Extinguishants. AFFF, ZERO 2000. (SeeTable 3.)
Copies of the list of FIA/MSA approved plumbed systems areavailable from Motorsport UK.

3.2. Plumbed-In Systems(If AFFF they must be FIA/MSAhomologated).
3.2.1. The Large unit should have two points of triggering, one for the driver (and Co-driver in Rallies) and one outside thecar for activation by Marshals etc.
3.2.2. The triggering point from the exterior must bepositioned close to the Circuit Breaker (or combined with it)and must be marked by the letter “E’’ in red inside a whitecircle of at least 10cm diameter with a red edge.
3.2.3. In installing units, the direction of nozzles should becarefully considered, Induction, Exhaust, Ignition and Fuelpumping systems being the most likely areas for fire to occur.
3.2.4. Where possible sources of fire exist outside the engineor cockpit areas (i.e. front mounted fuel tanks) advice can besought from Motorsport UK concerning plumbed-in systeminstallations.
3.2.5. All bottles should discharge simultaneously and mustbe operable in any position of the car even if inverted.
3.2.6. The fitting of a pressure gauge is recommended(mandatory for pressurised AFFF units).
3.2.7. Method of Operation: The preferred methodof operation is electrical which should have its own source ofenergy for triggering, ideally with provisionfor checking the integrity of the systems triggering circuit.
3.2.8. Mechanically operated systems, if used, should befitted with ‘Total Discharge’ valves (i.e. ones that continue to discharge even if the operating mechanism should fail after triggering. Hand-held extinguishers which have been adapted,by addition of pull-cables, rarely have the capability of being operated in varying positions and are not acceptable.
3.2.9. Weight checking: Extinguisher systems should becapable of being dismantled for the purpose of checking theweight of the extinguishant and the integrity of the cylinder, also to enable the operating system to be serviced withoutdischarging the contents. The tare weight of the unit must be marked on the cylinder.
3.2.10. Installation: Particular attention should be paid to the installation and maintenance of any system, especially if it is mechanically operated. Pull cables should be fitted in such away that no kinks or ‘S’ bends are formed which could causemalfunction.
3.2.11. A list of plumbed-in extinguisher kits that are approved by Motorsport UK is available on request.

3.3. During events:
3.3.1. All plumbed-in extinguisher systems must be in an‘ARMED’ condition (i.e. be capable of being operated withoutthe removal of any safety device) at all times whilst competing or practising in races or speed events (including during post-event scrutineering), and at all times that crash helmets are worn on rallies (i.e. on Stages etc.).
3.3.2. Any plumbed-in extinguisher system found to be incapable of being operated will be the subject of a report to the Clerk of the Course/Stewards for possible penalty as an offence against Safety Regulations.
3.3.3. Checking for correctly ‘Armed’ extinguisher systems,should only be carried out by Motorsport UK Scrutineers, and/orJudges of Fact nominated for that purpose.

3.4. Hand-held extinguishers
3.4.1. Must not be carried loose but should be retained inpositive quick release brackets, secured to the vehicle by aminimum of two 6mm bolts.
3.4.2. Extinguishers with pressure gauges are recommended.
3.4.3. The tare weight of the unit must be clearly marked on the cylinder.
3.5. GeneralIy it is recommended that all fire extinguisher bottles be securely mounted within the main structure of the vehicle. It is prohibited to mount bottles of over the medium capacity outside the main structure.

Visitors and families allowed from 11 July

Further to the announcement from MSV that visitors will be able to attend race meetings from 11th July, MSUK have emailed clubs to confirm the same. That means visitors, helpers and families can accompany our drivers to race meetings from that date. Excellent news.

Hygiene and safety measures will be in place. Remember that drivers will be responsible for their group. Still limited to 4 tickets including children and a lot more paperwork.

Our race calendar is at

Drivers must be a member of the 750 Motor Club  (£25/year)  and registered with the series Bernie’s Sports Racing & V8s (£50/year). Once registered on the 750MC site, online entering is simple and works very well.

Mustang racer for sale

Original period race car. Built and raced by Neil Kessel in 1969/70/71 inthe North American Trans Atlantic Challenge. Built to Trans Am spec. This is one of 6 original Mustang Coupes known to exist . Recent drivetrain restoration. Located in St Albans area. Ready to go , old log books and period history. This is an authentic gold medallion survivor. £60.000. Bernie Chodosh 07958-932921.

More photos available