MOTOR RACING: Grantham’s Hockley is Honda Civic Cup champ again

Rich Hockley with his trusty Honda Civic and the champion's silverware. Photo: www.markcallf.co.uk
Rich Hockley with his trusty Honda Civic and the champion's silverware. Photo: www.markcallf.co.uk
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A saloon car racing driver from Grantham won the Honda Civic Cup for the third time at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

Once again Rich Hockley pitched his 1.6-engined Civic EK4 against more powerful machinery and came out on top against his main rival in a 2,000cc Type-R EP3.

Facing a wet surface on the Kent track, Rich qualified third on the grid for the first of the final two races of the championship.

He got off to an “amazing” start and passed the pole position man by Graham Hill bend to take the lead. After only four laps, Rich was catching back-markers, including those in the combined Smart Car race.

One of the Smarts spun off down Paddock Hill and the yellow flag conditions allowed the second and third placed Civics to close up on Rich.

But he was unfazed and went on to take the chequered flag by seven seconds.

On pole for race two, Rich maintained the lead from start to finish, despite more yellow flag incidents, and crossed the finish line eight seconds in front of his nearest rival to regain his title.

Rich said: “The Smart Cars helped as I got through them quicker.

“I made some suspension alterations [after the last meeting at Rockingham] and I was feeling happy with the car.

“Arriving on the Saturday, I had some spies checking my opposition on track and doing some lap timing for me. And after hearing the results, it made me feel even more happier.”

Rich thanked his sponsors Hi Pro Sport, Grantham Honda, Front Row Construction, Race DNA, and all his family and friends for their support.