LYONS UNBEATABLE AT BRANDS HATCH SUPERPRIX WITH DOUBLE SUPER TOURING SUCCESS AND TWO HISTORIC RACE OF CHAMPIONS WINS
• Lights-to-flag wins in Super Touring on maiden outing in Volvo S40• Two poles and two wins at wheel of Surtees TS9 in ‘Race of Champions’• Lyons shows skill leaping from touring car to F1 car in back-to-back races
British racing driver Michael Lyons produced a barnstorming series of performances over the weekend, 2nd/3rd July, during the Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix at the Kent venue’s full Grand Prix Circuit – winning all four races entered in dominant style.
Starring at the wheel of a Surtees TS9 vintage Formula One car in the Historic Race of Champions Derek Bell Trophy, the 25-year-old led from lights-to-flag in Saturday’s opening contest to claim a clear victory by more than 13 seconds.
In race two on Sunday, Lyons obliterated the opposition with a sensational drive to double-up with another magnificent victory. He took the chequered flag on lap 14 an incredible 18.7 seconds clear of his closest challenger.
While renowned for his exploits in the world of Historic F1 racing, the weekend marked Lyons’ first ever appearance in a Super Touring era ‘tin top’ car in the Super Touring Car Challenge at the wheel of a Volvo S40, as raced in the British Touring Car Championship during the category’s heyday in the 1990s.
Forming part of a grid including ex-BTCC racers such as Patrick Watts and Mark Lemmer, Lyons qualified on pole position for Saturday’s race and went on to fend off Watts' Peugeot 406 by 1.6 seconds – the pair trading fastest laps throughout the 10-lap contest.
In Sunday’s race, under glorious summer skies, Lyons was able to open up a bigger winning margin of almost five seconds from the Honda Accord of Stewart Whyte to perfectly cap off an outstanding weekend of track action.
“What a fantastic weekend!”, reflected Lyons, “I had a great time in the Volvo in the Super Touring races, they were a lot of fun and to take both wins in a car I hadn’t driven before, against some strong opposition with guys like Patrick Watts and Mark Lemmer, was great.
“The car’s history is a nice little story – it was last raced in 1998 in Australia, I think Kelvin Burt raced it in the BTCC in 1997. Its last win was at Eastern Creek in ’98 and was then put in a museum. The owner got it back out about three weeks ago, it hadn’t turned a wheel in 14 years, and now here we are, it’s a winner again.”
He added: “Taking pole and winning both races in the Derek Bell Trophy was fantastic too, four wins from four isn’t bad going. It was an interesting weekend as the races were back-to-back, I went from the 300bhp Volvo with some downforce and jumped straight into the Surtees, with 500bhp through the back wheels and no downforce! It was definitely a busy weekend for Lyons Racing, we ran nine cars in total across the various championships so it’s great to come away with lots of silverware.”
July is certainly an extremely busy month of track activity for British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) driver Lyons with an outing in the Le Mans Classic this coming weekend, 9th/10th July. Before then, he will be on track in his contemporary Blancpain Endurance Cup Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 at Spa in Belgium tomorrow, Tuesday, 5th July, for the official test day for this month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.