American SpeedFest VI kicked off with a bombastic NASCAR double-header, American car displays, impressive demonstrations, stunt shows and much more at Brands Hatch today (Saturday). This afternoon's action set the scene perfectly ahead of SpeedFest's super-sized Sunday tomorrow, for which tickets will be available on the gate with FREE entry for under-13s.
On-track action was headlined by the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) with a race for each of its two classes: Elite 1 for pro drivers and Elite 2 for gentleman drivers. NWES championship leader Frederic Gabillion kicked things off with an impressive victory in the opening race of the weekend, defending all the way from 1991 Formula Ford Festival Marc Goossens. There was much frantic fighting for third behind, with Loris Hezemans claiming third in a battle which had featured young Briton Alex Sedgwick - the eventual eighth place finisher.
NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte finished twelfth in the first race of the weekend as he returned to American SpeedFest action for the second year in succession. The 2000 NASCAR champion kept his nose clean in a tight midfield battle and is well placed to aim for the top-ten on Sunday. Guillaume Deflandre won the Elite 2 NWES race later in the afternoon, bringing the day's NASCAR action to a close.
Away from the racing there was plenty to see and do, and the show will be even bigger when it resumes tomorrow. Sunday's activities will range from monster truck rides to appearances from Star Wars characters via a BBQ competition. There will even be a hot dog competition and entries are open to anybody who wishes to take part -just arrive at the Live Action Arena ahead of 10:30 to register your interest.
Tomorrow's car displays will be must-see attractions too, with huge quantities of American muscle expected to descend upon the venue to create a Route 66 parking lot. Star cars will include the real Herbie, as used during filming for The Love Bug, and a number of replica movie cars. Special cars will be showcased throughout the day at the Live Action Arena, with three shows for classic and custom cars, powerful muscle cars, and lowriders. Many of these machines will take to the track at the close of play for an end of SpeedFest parade.
Sunday's race programme will be headlined by two more NWES races, including the centrepiece Elite 1 race which will be preceded by a pre-race opening ceremony. This will bring all of the razzamatazz of American sport to Kent, with cheerleader performances, a rousing rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, and maybe even a surprise or two. The NASCAR races will be accompanied by a full support bill, with 10 races scheduled in total. The races will be complemented by a rich demo line-up including iconic NASCARs, heritage stock cars, and a transatlantic truck-off.
Full details of tomorrow's activities will be available within the pages of the special souvenir programme which is available from the venue megastore and other vendors for £5.
Click here to view Sunday's on-track timetable.
Click here to view Sunday's off-track timetable.
Under-13s go FREE to American SpeedFest VI and adult tickets are available on the gate for £30.
Photo: Az Edwards
Brands Hatch Race Circuit
Tel: 0843 453 1000*
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