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Rod Birley claims 700th race win at Brands Hatch and vows to continue competing


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West Kingsdown's Rod Birley notched up his 700th career win at Brands Hatch on Sunday – and has pledged to keep racing into 2022 and beyond.

The 66-year-old broke the record for the most wins in British motor racing in 2017 when he surpassed saloon car racing legend Gerry Marshall’s 625 triumphs.

Birley broke Gerry Marshall’s record in 2017 by claiming his 626th win at Brands Hatch; he grabbed his 700th win at the same circuit on Sunday. All pictures: Simon Hildrew
Birley broke Gerry Marshall’s record in 2017 by claiming his 626th win at Brands Hatch; he grabbed his 700th win at the same circuit on Sunday. All pictures: Simon Hildrew

He has continued to add to his tally ever since and reached his latest milestone by scoring two Super Saloons victories at his home circuit.

The Ford Escort WRC driver had lost out to Longfield's Nick Sutton in the second encounter but was promoted to top spot after the race when the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 pilot was penalised for passing before the startline at a safety car restart.

Birley, who runs an engineering supply company, says he was not expecting to hit 700 wins this year.

"I'm really glad it happened at Brands Hatch – it feels great and was a bit surprising," he said.

"It was a shame the second race ended like it did as up until the last lap it was really close.

Birley has now scored 374 wins with his trusty Ford Escort WRC. He's pictured leading Nick Sutton in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 in Sunday's second Super Saloons race
Birley has now scored 374 wins with his trusty Ford Escort WRC. He's pictured leading Nick Sutton in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 in Sunday's second Super Saloons race
Birley plans to use his BMW E36 more next season
Birley plans to use his BMW E36 more next season
BMW M3 E46 driver Dave Cox, from Gravesend, finished third in class and fifth and sixth overall in the two Britcar night races at Brands Hatch at the weekend
BMW M3 E46 driver Dave Cox, from Gravesend, finished third in class and fifth and sixth overall in the two Britcar night races at Brands Hatch at the weekend
Former BTCC champion Andrew Jordan (88) took three wins in the Mini Se7en class in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge. He's pictured overtaking his former touring car team-mate Jeff Smith around the outside of Druids
Former BTCC champion Andrew Jordan (88) took three wins in the Mini Se7en class in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge. He's pictured overtaking his former touring car team-mate Jeff Smith around the outside of Druids
Ford pilot Danny Hunn, from Paddock Wood, finished second and fourth in the two Intermarque Silhouette races
Ford pilot Danny Hunn, from Paddock Wood, finished second and fourth in the two Intermarque Silhouette races
Dartford's Steve Rothery won the second Britcar night race on Sunday in his TCR-spec Peugeot 308
Dartford's Steve Rothery won the second Britcar night race on Sunday in his TCR-spec Peugeot 308
Nick Wall, from Sevenoaks, finished third and fourth overall and took two class wins in the Super Saloons races aboard his Renault Clio
Nick Wall, from Sevenoaks, finished third and fourth overall and took two class wins in the Super Saloons races aboard his Renault Clio
Ben Johnson (721), from Tunbridge Wells, finished a best of fifth in class in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge in his Mini Se7en
Ben Johnson (721), from Tunbridge Wells, finished a best of fifth in class in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge in his Mini Se7en
Ian Humphris and Benji Hetherington won the first Britcar night race in their Porsche 718 GT4 Clubsport
Ian Humphris and Benji Hetherington won the first Britcar night race in their Porsche 718 GT4 Clubsport
Edward Simmonds, from Tonbridge, grabbed a best result of sixth overall in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge
Edward Simmonds, from Tonbridge, grabbed a best result of sixth overall in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge
Chris Burley, from Ashford, twice finished third in class in the Super Saloons races in his Ford Fiesta ST
Chris Burley, from Ashford, twice finished third in class in the Super Saloons races in his Ford Fiesta ST
Mercedes SLK driver John Steward, from Paddock Wood, finished 12th and 16th in the two Intermarque Silhouette races
Mercedes SLK driver John Steward, from Paddock Wood, finished 12th and 16th in the two Intermarque Silhouette races
Peugeot 306 racer Chris Bassett, from New Ash Green, finished first and second in class in the Super Saloons races
Peugeot 306 racer Chris Bassett, from New Ash Green, finished first and second in class in the Super Saloons races
With his dad Mike watching on from Druids and Paddock Hill Bend, Andrew Jordan took three class wins in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge
With his dad Mike watching on from Druids and Paddock Hill Bend, Andrew Jordan took three class wins in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge
Peter Seldon, from Sevenoaks, claimed two class wins in the Super Saloons races in his BMW E36 M3
Peter Seldon, from Sevenoaks, claimed two class wins in the Super Saloons races in his BMW E36 M3
Josh Rowledge won two races and claimed the Ginetta Junior Winter Series
Josh Rowledge won two races and claimed the Ginetta Junior Winter Series
Matthew Page, from Cranbrook, finished a best of second in class in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge in his Mini Se7en
Matthew Page, from Cranbrook, finished a best of second in class in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge in his Mini Se7en
Using an engine built by St Michaels-based Swiftune Engineering, Andrew Jordan enjoyed three battles with Jeff Smith
Using an engine built by St Michaels-based Swiftune Engineering, Andrew Jordan enjoyed three battles with Jeff Smith
VW Golf driver Mark Cripps, from Lympne, claimed a first and second in class in the Super Saloons races
VW Golf driver Mark Cripps, from Lympne, claimed a first and second in class in the Super Saloons races
Chris Lovett, (62), from Whitstable, finished a best of fourth overall in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge
Chris Lovett, (62), from Whitstable, finished a best of fourth overall in the Dunlop Mini Winter Challenge
Maidstone's Steve Dann finished second and third overall and first in class in the two Super Saloons races in his VW Scirocco
Maidstone's Steve Dann finished second and third overall and first in class in the two Super Saloons races in his VW Scirocco

"I have no real target now – I will keep going for a couple more years as long as I enjoy it."

Birley, who started racing when he was 17, says he may use his BMW E36 more next season.

The 2021 season concludes at Brands Hatch this weekend with a MotorSport Vision Racing meeting featuring the IndyKA 500 event on Sunday.

For details, click here

Read more: All the latest sport news from Kent

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