Brands Hatch - Round 6, 7th June

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I love Brands Hatch, and particularly the Indy circuit. I'm not really sure why, but the place 'feels' like a proper racing circuit, the track itself is good fun and it is brilliant for spectating. Some friends even came along to watch!

Because of the sheer numbers, qualifying was split across two groups and mixed with the Classics grid. Especially on a small circuit like BHI, it's easy to get held up but I had already decided that I just had to go for it and see what happened. Group 1, the group I was in, was qualifying for the right or pole side of the grid and Group 2 would qualify for the left of the grid. In these circumstances it always seems more difficult to get a good grid position as every place dropped effectively puts you back two places - although you only have half the fast cars in each group. I set out quickly and after about five laps found some space to put in a few really good laps, ending up with a 55.245, almost a second quicker than I had gone in testing the day before. This put me fourth in my group and therefore seventh on the overall grid, a good result! Trev was on pole (54.793), Tim GO in second (54.825) and James Sibbet in third (55.102) (full times and grid).

BrandsHatch.jpgI got another good start and went past Paul Turley (6th) who had got (another?) equally bad start. I usually aim for someone to follow from the start and this time it was James Sibbet (3rd) but he also got a poor start and I was right with him through Paddock Hill bend and in 5th place. Druids on lap 1 is always interesting as this was no exception with JOS and David Shaw coming together and David losing his rear nearside wing. Under heavy braking I tried to move out of the way a bit and ended up locking up the rear which at least gave me a good opportunity to demonstrate my trademark one handed skid control. We all got round with Roger now trying to come around the outside and although I was ahead as we ran down to Graham Hill bend, Roger held the inside line to get through. Roger wobbled a lot as we went into Surtees which was a bit worrying but it came to nothing. Onto lap 2 and Ben simply shot up the inside into Paddock Hill from a long way back which took me by surprise (although given where I braked, it shouldn't have done). As we ran up to Druids I had the inside line and although Ben did his best to make the gap as small as possible I managed to squeeze past under braking. I could see Trevor out front with a bit of a gap followed by Eddie Benson and then Tim GO and David side by side battling for third. Ahead, Roger pulled a similar move on JOS as he had done on me a lap earlier, squeezing through on the inside of Graham Hill whilst taking plenty of curb.

Roger got another great tank slapper on the exit of Druids on lap 3 with the rear of Roger's car slapping JOS nose and causing him to drop back and allowing me past and back onto Roger's tail. I had a much better exit from Clearways and got past on the straight with relative ease and held the position (5th) through Paddock Hill. At the sharp end Eddie Benson also managed to get past Trevor to take the lead.

Into lap 7, Roger does a Ben and also flies past on the inside at the entry to Paddock Hill (I really must sort out my braking for that corner!) but I'm back past at Druids with JOS also getting ahead of Roger. At the end of the lap I have a decent gap back to the JOS/Roger battle but I'm over three seconds down on Tim GO ahead in 4th and a further second back from Trev who is back in front. As I exit Druids on lap 8 I can see that Eddie is off the circuit on the right hand side and is only just rejoining. I'm sure that I have the momentum to fly past him but he takes a 'firm' line into Graham Hill and I have to back off to avoid contact. I indicate my displeasure!... and then get on with chasing him down but it is Roger who is moving up the field, again getting past me into PH on the next lap and making it stick this time. On the exit from Druids, Paul Turley gets too far onto the grass and spears into the barrier, ending his race and putting a large dent in the barrier/wallett. David Shaw had now taken the lead from Trev with Tim GO holding third.

Not to be left out, on lap 12 JOS comes past on the inside into Paddock Hill. I had no idea just how much space there is there! This does give me the inside line into Druids though and I get back past him. At the end of lap 15 I'm still chasing Roger but again get a better run out of Clearways and get past fairly easily on the start/finish straight but leave him, and a battle worn Hugh, the inside line into Paddock Hill. As we come down the hill from Druids, Roger and I are side by side and right behind Hugh.

Lap 18 and bloody Gareth Thomas arrives around the outside of Druids! Where did he come from!?! (19th on the grid as it happens). I put a wheel on the grass at the turn in to Graham Hill bend and very nearly lose it. On lap 20 Tim GO gets ahead of Eddie Benson but by lap 21 it's back to Eddie in third and Tim in fourth.

On the final lap (22!), Roger up ahead takes a very tight light into Druids and sneaks past Gareth. Hugh is only just staying ahead of the battle. I have a look at getting past Gareth into Clearways but I'm not close enough and have to drop back - and I'm still trying to shake JOS off my tail. So I finish 8th but am really pleased with the way I drove. Trev, David and Eddie take the podium places, relegating Tim GO to fourth. (Full results).

Here's a video of the highlights which should include most/all of the events above! 

snetterton race 1 video

(22Mb Windows Media File)

So, that's six rounds down and its probably time to start looking at the Championship table. We can drop three scores and with one drop taken into account I'm in 11th on 208 which slightly surprises me as consistency is normally highly rewarded, in part due to our points structure (50 for a win, then one point fewer for each place behind) - it just shows that the people ahead of me are also being very consistent. Mark Roberts is my closest rival on 210 and then Paul Turley on 213 although he has done Marshalling, which nets 10 points. Anyway, there's a 100 points to play for at Silverstone with a hectic one day double header.

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Coyote said:

great vid Charles

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This page contains a single entry by published on June 18, 2008 4:28 PM.

Snetterton - Rounds 4 and 5, 25th/26th May was the previous entry in this blog.

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