Down and Muggleton romped to a Tatts 1-2 at Brands Hatch.’s official V8 Supercar Series headed to Brands Hatch in England for the second round of 2014 Season 1 and a 38 lap race. Qualifying was tight but for the second time this season it was Madison Down taking the pole position being the only sim-racer to dip into the 1:25’s. Teammate Josh Muggelton placed his Falcon in the second position to make it a TTR front row lock-out. Occupying the Row Two were Justin Ruggier and Jon Emerson while Rens Broekman and George Maris filled the 3rd row for the start. Chad Chastain did enough to secure P7 on the grid with Leigh Ellis griding next to him, while ANZ Motorsports monopolized Row Five with Leigh Day and Beau Cattell rounding-out the top ten qualifiers.

When the lights went out it was Down getting the jump and leading the field through the first few turns.  Further back, Ellis made a poor start and Day was able to sneak through before Paddock Hill Bend; however it all came unstuck when Ellis couldn’t stop his TTR Falcon in time approaching Druids hairpin and made contact with the Day, causing Day to slam into the back of Chastain.

In the resulting melee, it was Chastain who fared the worst as he ended-up at the rear of the field with heavy damage and could not continue, while Dean Obrien became the second to retire after suffering too much damage in the first lap incident.

Things got ugly at Druids on the opening lap.

The raced settled down for a few laps with Down posting some blistering lap times to extend his lead, his efforts aided and abetted by Muggelton whose Lap Seven “off” allowed Ruggier through into P2. A lap later Muggelton earned himself a “slow down” which enabled Broekman to take third place and allowed Emerson to get up alongside. With the pair both fighting over the same piece of real estate heading into Paddock, contact was inevitable with Emerson giving the wall – and his Ford Falcon — a hard hit.

After a dozen laps the first of routine pit began. Down, Muggelton and Cattell took the gamble in the hope their fuel would last the remaining 26 laps. A lap later the pit lane was a hive of activity with most of the field taking the chance to get some fuel and Ruggier incurring a 15s penalty for an unsafe pit entry.

The early stoppers handed the top spots to Emerson and Ian Ford, who decided a long first stint was the best option. Ford pitted from P2 on Lap 18 and returned to the track in P13, advancing two spots over where  he had been before the pit stop sequence.  But it was Emerson who provided the drive of the night, after seemingly being down and out.  After falling back to 12th spot in the opening laps, he ran for as long as possible and, after the stop, emerged in fifth position.

Emerson (5) recovered from this incident with Muggleton to finish fourth.

What followed was some very entertaining racing between Cattall, Ellis and Emerson as they battled for P3 over the last 10 laps. Emerson got around Ellis with a nice clean move through Druids and then set his sights on Cattell. The pair fought as hard as they would dare push their Falcons, but in the end Cattell managed to hold onto third to record his highest ever finishing position behind the two cars with Down taking the win ahead of Muggelton after some fuel-saving from the both of them.

Ruggier fought his way back to sixth ahead of Maris while Broekman brought his TAG Falcon home in 8th and Adrian Stratford bested Tobias Czerny for ninth spot. The remaining cars on the lead lap were quite spread out with U’Ren in P11 followed by Ford. James Mcknight managed a 13th ahead of Michael Schreyer, Sanjin Delalic while Richard Hunter was the last of the lead lap cars in 16th.

You can watch the full replay at V8sonline.

Split 2 Winner Dale Neish
Split 3 Winner Joery Rietveld
Split 4 Winner Shane Best

Championship Standings
Madison Down      565
Josh Muggleton     538
John Emerson       472
Justin V Ruggier    459
Beau Cattell          458

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