Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Brands Hatch Race Event

Our second race event was at the famous Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent on the 9th & 10th of June. Leaving home at 5am Saturday morning we arrived and setup in the paddock. After signing-on and scrutineering we headed out for qualifying.

The last time I drove the circuit was over two years ago when the car was in standard road form so I took most of the 15 minute qualifying session to get up to speed setting a best time of 58.5 seconds - good for 15th on a nearly full grid of 30 cars.  This was 4 secs slower than pole position, but a full 10 seconds faster than I'd ever been before. This was also my first experience of the Toyo 888 tyres in the dry. 

In the first race I got a great start, holding my position round paddock hill and up to the druids hairpin. Unfortunately several cars went off track later in the lap and in avoiding them I was overtaken by 4 or 5 924 drivers. My race didn't get much better as I ended up with some minor front wing damage from an aborted overtake at Druids. This knocked out my ABS and later in the race I lost the rear of the car at the bottom of paddock hill, spinning a full 360 degrees.  I finished a disappointing 19th which would affect my grid position for Race 2.
On Sunday the forecast rain held off for Race 2. Multiple cars went off at Paddock hill bend and were damaged which resulted in several laps behind the safety car.  I managed to get past a few of the 924's and was promoted to 9th position overall due to some blatant jump starts from several cars in front of me on the grid.

For Race 3 on Sunday afternoon it start to drizzle with rain as a depleted grid lined up. Before the race I took some advice on passing slower cars from the more experience drivers and quickly passed the 924 cars - lining each pass up one lap at a time.  I was lapping consistently and catching the Boxster in front of me however had to yield to blue flags to allow the leaders to lap me. In the end I ran out of time (and nearly fuel!) to close in - finishing an excellent 10th.