9th July 2017
Champion of Brands
CHAMPION OF BRANDS 8TH JULY - MINIFEST
A race report I wish I could have stoped writting after qually.
Another Brands Hatch MSV festival with a huge crowd, another glorious day of weather - is was time to race in The Champion Of Brands at the Mini Fest 2017.
12.45 - Qualifying
After a long day Friday setting the car up in great detail I was buzzing to get behind the wheel straight into qually. The car had some sticky new boots on and I was feeling as pumped as ever.
Rather than put in fast laps for 15 minutes durung qually, I decided to use the time wisely- come in half way, check temperatures ect and make quick adjustments if I needed too.
This seemed to be the right thing to do as after some adjustments during the pit stop I rejoined and put in three of my fastest laps.
The track wasn't at its best but the car felt good. I put a quickest time in of 52.403 this would put me in my best every starting position.
I would start in 4th on the outside on the second row of the grid.
17.45 - The race
The air temperature and track temperature had really risen since qually and with little testing on the new car setup I knew there was more time to be found in the car.
So I finally line up in P4 !! - pretty special moment being that close to the front row!!!
Lights out! And I get an initial poor start, the top 3 pulled into the distance but I managed to keep everyone behind me. I held 4th untill I got to the fast left hander of Surtees where I lost rear grip and couldnt bring the back of the car round and it sent me wide on to the grass. I quickly rejoined in 7th, the following lap I was trying to make up ground I lost in the first lap- I pushed too hard on the exit of Graham Hill and sent my self into a spin. I was now down to 8th and my race was over before it even got started.
The car just didn't feel as good as it did in qually and at the half way stage oil flags came out around half the track - I felt there had been oil down the entire race and this was confirmed after the race. This could have possibly explained the spin on the second lap and why the car felt a bit tail happy everywhere . I was 8th and loosing the race after just 3 laps! I had no option than to just drive around the problems and go for it.
I managed to finally catch and over take Mathew Sturmer in his Macon and with 2 laps to go and after falling 10 seconds adrift of Innes in his 89' Van Diemen I finally managed to make up the time and pass him in to Druids. This put me back in 6th. On the final lap Matt Rivet who was running 2nd retired with a seized engine which gifted me 5th.
In all I was pleased to have got back in the race but gutted I threw away a potential podium.
A lesson learnt and more valuable time behind the wheel.
Thanks once again to everyone that came down to support. You really are the best, so much so you even got a mention in the programme!!
(All photos credit of Radkins Racers)