Next up, we move to the tranquility of the garden of England, and the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, for the Brands Hatch 1,000 Kilometers. This race marks the beginning of the second half of the 1986 season. A record crowd of 40,000 people have shown up to watch this race. Like the races at Monza and at Norisring, the Brands Hatch event is only for driver’s championship points. So, Rothmans Porsche has decided to skip this race. Hans Stuck and Derek Bell have decided to drive the #7 Joest Racing Porsche 962, which will run in the Rothmans livery for this event.
They will team up in a three driver effort, with Klaus Ludwig. Green flag, and away we go! Stuck starts car #7 from P1, but the snarling pack of Group C cars is chasing after the Bavarian immediately. Jaguar’s are well to the fore, in this, their second home race, in England, of ’86. Eddie Cheever sharing the #51 car with Gianfranco Brancatelli, and Derek Warwick, sharing #52 with Jean Louis Schlesser. The top four through Paddock Bend for the first time are Hans Stuck, Derek Warwick, Eddie Cheever, and Thierry Boutsen. Stuck is opening his lead, whistling off into the distance, while Warwick is under attack from the #14 Liqui Moly Porsche 956, Bob Wollek at the wheel of it, sharing with Mauro Baldi.
We have our first big crash! C2 winner at Le Mans, Evan Clements has comprehensively smashed the #75 ADA Engineering Gebhardt, after being punted off the road by a C1 car. The ADA Gebhardt is utterly destroyed. The crash brings out the safety car so many teams decide, right let’s get our pit stops out of the way. But, the marshals have bungled this one. They have let some cars out of the pit lane, and kept others waiting in the pit lane as the safety car crocodile circulates ‘round Brands Hatch. Finally, the mess is resolved and the green flag comes back out. We’re racing again.
At this stage it is the customer Sponsor Guest Team #6 Lancia LC2/85 leading the motor race with Andrea de Cesaris at the controls, sharing with countryman Bruno Giacomelli this weekend. Following the Lancia are one of the Jaguar’s, the Joest Porsche, and the Liqui Moly Porsche. Bob Wollek is a man on a mission. He flies past Stuck, and now, he’s driving on, focusing on pipping Cheever, next. In the C2 class, the leader now is the 1985 spec Spice Tiga #105 for Kelmar Racing. Maurizio Gellini of Italy is at the controls, sharing with countryman Pasquale Barberio, and New Zealander, John Nicholson.
Whoops! We’ve got more drama on the road. Louis Descartes in the #92 ALD 02 BMW, loses a wheel, and up… and over, he goes! We present to you, Louis Descartes, the acrobatic unintentional stunt driver! Clearly, a Group C car is capable of flipping its lid sometimes. The Frenchman is on his head, embarrassingly, especially since he owns the automobile and will have to get it fixed. I wonder if Louis Descartes is related somehow to Rene Descartes, who came up with the philosophical idea, “I think, therefore, I am”?
These faster C1 cars have to zig and zag, to try and avoid the overturned Descartes machine as he has to free himself from the overturned racer. The Brands Hatch 1,000 Kilometers has plummeted into confusion on a grand scale. Pit stops commence, and so Hans Stuck hands car #7 to Derek Bell, while in the #14 pit Mauro Baldi replaces Bob Wollek for the next stint.
Yet again, these blokes who made pit stops have to sit and wait for the safety car crocodile to come through. For crying out loud, what is going on? The trouble here is, the marshals let some cars out of the pit lane ahead of the safety car and pointed them around, while others were not released until after the safety car passed the end of pit lane, and no one knows which position these cars are in that are ahead of the leaders, because they are certainly separate from the rest of the crocodile.
Derek Warwick sums it up and says “you fight your heart out for a few hundredths, and then, you get snookered by the marshals who cost you a lap in the pits. What can you do? What can you say? It’s just ludicrous.” Andrea de Cesaris and Hans Stuck are confused by this mess as well, but they seem more confident they can claw their way back after the marshals mighty mix up. The Stuck/Bell/Ludwig Porsche leads, but the Baldi/Wollek machine is hot on their heels in second spot. Baldi makes his way past the #7 and also, the Lancia, but Lancia and other teams end up being penalized for the error, the blame for which needs to fall squarely on the stewards and race organizers.
Liqui Moly Porsche leads, and now, Ecurie Ecosse make up for their disaster of a blown tire at Le Mans by taking the C2 lead over the Gellini Kelmar Tiga Ford which had mechanical troubles. In third spot, it’s the #19 Jagermeister liveried Brun Porsche 956 of Thierry Boutsen and Frank Jelinski. We have drama in the closing moments of the race here at Brands Hatch! Hans Stuck has run out of fuel in the #7 Rothmans Porsche! He coasts to a halt just short of the checkered flag! Will Stuck, sharing with Derek Bell and Klaus Ludwig still win Brands Hatch?
The answer to that question is… hang on here… the answer is, no! Mauro Baldi and Bob Wollek complete the final lap and they put the #14 Liqui Moly Porsche 956 in victory lane! Bell and company will have to settle for second place, here at Brands Hatch. This is Richard Lloyd Racing’s second Brands Hatch triumph in three years, having also won in 1984. Factory drivers score in first and second place, piloting customer cars.
It should also be noted, in C2, Ecurie Ecosse give Austin Rover their first win as a manufacturer with Ray Mallock and David Leslie sharing the honors.
- #14 Wollek/Baldi Porsche 962C Liqui Moly Porsche
- #7 Stuck/Bell/Ludwig Porsche 962C Rothmans Joest Porsche
- #19 Boutsen/Jelinski Porsche 956 Jagermeister Brun Porsche
- #52 Warwick/Schlesser Jaguar XJR-6 Silk Cut Jaguar
- #8 Barilla/Winter/Ludwig Porsche 956 Sachs Joest Porsche
- #51 Cheever/Brancatelli Jaguar XJR-6 Silk Cut Jaguar
Group C2 winner:
- #79 Mallock/Leslie Ecosse C286 Rover Ecurie Ecosse
Mallock and Leslie finish seventh in the overall, first in class. Five down, four to go. Here are the point standings as Stuck and Bell lead over Warwick and Cheever in the points.
- Hans Stuck 70 points
- Derek Bell 70 points
- Derek Warwick 42 points
- Eddie Cheever 41 points
- Oscar Larrauri 26 points
- Jesus Pareja 26 points
- Bob Wollek 26 points