I must admit I haven’t seen Toy Story 4 although plenty of people tell me I should, especially James Alford (car number 88).
You see, James had the Fork character from Toy Story 4 plastered on the bonnet of his Gaz Shocks 116 racer and clearly, it was a lucky charm because, after 90 mins of intense on-track action, James brought his Fork home in second place – Top job mate!
However, there is more to this story than just an item of cutlery as we found on our first trip to the Gaz Shocks 116 Trophy.
Race day – Saturday 17th August – pre-race build-up
We were fortunate that the sun fell on Saturday especially as the rain had come tumbling down on Friday and Sunday (sorry cricket fans).
That meant a dry race would ensue but with close to a six-hour wait between qualifying and the race – anything could happen!
However, nothing did, and it meant pole sitters Paul Wighton and Lewis Wighton-Turner would not have to face Paddock Hill Bend in the rain.
During the gap between on-track action, we decided to go for a little walk through the pitlane and chat to some of the teams and drivers.
Along the way we had a chat with Matthew Beech and David Russell from the RAF number 18 car, as both lads are much stronger and fitter I wanted to make sure I stayed in their good books and we reminisced about their appearance at AutoSport International earlier in the year in which they built a 116 Trophy racer pretty much from scratch.
We also popped along to see Richard Newton in the Team BRIT car number 68. Richard operates his car with hand controls and he kindly talked us through the complicated steering wheel – I have no idea how he does it but I am telling you from having seen it live, that guy has some serious talent.
And so to the 116 Trophy race…
Coming into Brands Hatch Team BRIT driver Bobby Trundley (car number 67) had made it a clean sweep of victories but having qualified 4th had a little early work to do.
With 90 mins and a mandatory pitstop about to ensue, there was plenty of time for everyone to be optimistic about a strong race and believe they could be the one to make it to the top step.
As the lights went out, everyone got away cleanly with Anthony Seddon slotting into an early lead until disaster struck on lap five.
Whilst leading Anthony has a moment at turn one Paddock Hill Bend and stuffs it into the treacherous gravel.
Out came the safety car and in came Anthony back to the pits in his car needing a spade to dig out the gravel but otherwise with very little damage.
I immediately shove a microphone in Anthony’s face not sure whether I am about to receive a punch from an angry race driver but in fact Anthony was all smiles and took it all on chin claiming he ran out of talent – well, let me assure you Anthony, you have a bucket load more talent than I do behind the wheel.
Back to the action and somehow Matt Maxted had taken advantage of the confusion to take the lead in car number 19.
Ben Wilcox was the first of the leaders to make a stop after Bobby Trundley had come in relatively early.
Let me tell you those pitstops are a real treat to be in the thick off and everyone took their stops to perfection.
As the end neared, James Alford found himself out in the lead but with pole-sitter Paul Wighton closing him down having taken over from Lewis.
Eventually, Paul got past and took the chequered flag to take his and Lewis’ their first-ever win in the 116 Trophy with James Alford coming home a close second and the number 19 car of Matt Maxted and Chris Neal rounding out the podium.
So, the dust settled, but the smiles were endless, the friendly hugs, the fist pumps, and high-fives were evident from everyone from first to last.
There was genuine happiness and some of the most intense on-track action you will see spread over 90 minutes.
At some point during our live-stream, we had our 40,000th viewer of the season prompting a little inside pat on the back moment.
The Gaz Shocks 116 Trophy moves on to Cadwell Park now in October and I implore you to pop along!
Want us to get behind the scenes in your series?
With more viewers, engagement and fun, MySuperCar has brought a new way for people to experience motorsport like never before.
Fill out the form below and let’s have a chat.