Brands Hatch

Posted on 22nd of October 2011 by Vincent
A race in the UK again, and this time on the famous Brands Hatch track.

Sadly the race was not on the full GP circuit but on the much shorter Indy circuit (fastest laptime here was 0:50,2). Race was part of the UK championship and the results here do not count in the Dutch challenge. We were not the only Dutch car as Saker Sportscars also deployed a car, driven by the duo Herbert Boender and Rudolf Meijer. Saker Sportscars (Appie) did the technical support for us on the track. Since this is the first year that the cup is run in the UK the grid was not as large as the Dutch grid, 6 Sakers and 3 other cars, including a Chevron and a Prosport LM3000.
Format is a bit different than we were used to in the DNRT. Racing was spread over two days, with 4 races in total.
This was my first time driving on the track and to make it worse the track was wet. The track is quite challenging with lots of height differences. In fact the first time I went down Paddock Hill Bend, I thought I fell of the track. You just do not see the actual corner until you’re going down on it, it is that steep. I drove the #01 car fitted with paddle shifts. Although some modifications were done to the gearbox, it sadly still had the overshooting problem that I had in the previous race. It would not come as a surprise that I qualified last.
Luckily the sun started shining and we had great weather the entire weekend.
Race 1
I simply did not have the pace here, busy with both learning the track and anticipating on the gearbox. Finished dead last. Race was won by Paul Rose. Rudolf Meijer out braked himself at Druids, and buried himself deep in the gravel.
Race 2
Pace was better, but gearbox problems just got worse each lap. Eventually the car would not go into 4th anymore and I sadly had to retire. The Dutch car driven by Herbert Boender ended second.
Day 2:
Gearbox was repaired overnight thanks to the support mechanics of Saker Sportscars and JPR.
Race 3:
For the first time that weekend the gearbox felt alright, I had overtaken the Chevron and was running times of 51-52 seconds, similar times as the lead group. But problems started again after about 10 laps when the car suddenly had problems downshifting. Again I retired the race. Race was won by Paul Rose with Rudolf Meijer a close second.
Race 4:
Did not start. Problems of the gearbox were this time not caused by the gearbox itself but fried wiring of the paddle shift system. This was something we could not fix in such short time. The race was won by Steve Harris, after Paul Rose also had to retire. Herbert Boender ended third here.
Again a weekend plagued by gearbox problems. I do have to say that although a very short track, the Indy lay-out is amazingly fun with unique bends.