Brands Hatch 21st -22nd October 2017
Testing Throughout both Ross Martin and I were very consistent, quick times giving us a fighting chance. Despite changing conditions – very wet and very dry – we were consistently the fastest during Thursday and Friday.
Qualifying A difficult heat placement meant I was up against it and knew I had to get a fast time recorded early in the session. I set about building heat in my tyres before the session was delayed due to a red flag, the result of an off at the the very tricky turn one. The session resumed and so did I, building up heat in my tyres so I could set my time. Another red flag only two laps later resulted in me returning to the pits, without a fast time set. Biding my time I waited for a clear track and headed out to set my fast lap time. A good out-lap got my tyres almost to temperature and it was looking good for my flyer. Then disaster, rain mid-point through my flyer slowed the pace and all I could manage was 9th.
Race 1 I was feeling confident as I lined up for the start of the race. The track had dried, however there was still standing water on some of the brake zones. As I navigated the difficult corners I adjusted brake balance for each one allowing me to attack fully. I judged the balance required for each corner well, avoiding any lock-ups and my times improved as a result. I managed some overtakes that I was very pleased with, and with a 5th place I was filled with confidence for the next session.
Semi Final After a great race on the Saturday, I had managed to get straight into the semi-final on Sunday. I was starting 8th on the grid and the track was dry, but I was a bit too aggressive at the start, resulting in wheel-spin and losing one place into turn 1. Oil on the track a few laps later allowed me to capitalise on a mistake by the car that had overtaken me at the start and I got my position back. I chased down 7th place and in the final corner of the race tucked up behind. As the finish line drew closer I pulled out and managed to slingshot past him crossing the line in front by just the nose of my car.
The Final My previous results lined me up in 14th on the grid. I was the highest placed driver in the team going into the final which was a good feeling. The final consisted of the top 30 drivers out of over 100 who entered. Being 14th on the grid surrounded by fast and talented drivers was pretty cool knowing I had earned it with good results and racing.
It took the first 3 laps for my tyres to get up to temperature, initially struggling for grip. Luckily the safety car was deployed allowing me to work on my tyres. There was no room for error with a tight pack. Into turn 5 I got understeer and ran wide resulting in 2 cars going past. This was a frustrating mistake as I had just been a little too aggressive into the entry. The result of this was a bad exit from the corner too and as I got back up to pace on the straight two more cars got past me.
Finishing the Final in 18th place was a bittersweet ending to the weekend. I was disappointed with the way I drove in the final. I knew I had the potential to be at least top 10. I was told that it was a terrific result when you consider the calibre of drivers who have travelled from all over the world to race, but of course I only really want to win, or finish knowing I could not have done any more.
I would like to thank GBR and my family for their hard work and dedication.
I have my next race at Silverstone in 2 weeks time, I will be pushing hard for a better result.