|British Championship Round 3 – Brands Hatch
During Friday practice 1 my suspension failed coming out of Paddock Hill bend sending me at full speed into the wall and ending our running for the day as the car was substantially damaged in the crash.
This put us on the back foot before the weekend had even began as we had no time to fine tune a set up or scrub in tyres and brakes for Saturday morning qualifying and the 3 races and giving my confidence a knock.
During the opening laps of the session I was trying to find a gap in traffic to string together a fast lap. A red flag early in the session helped as it sent me towards the front of the queue in pit lane and gave me track position for when the session resumed. I managed to string 3 decent laps together after the red flag as I began to settle into my rhythm getting comfortably quicker each time, unfortunately another red flag brought us all back to pit lane where we were told the session would not resume despite the fact there was 6 minutes remaining. This was bad for me as I had only strung together a lap good enough for 10th at this point in the session as the times were so close, 0.3’s covered from 4th to 10th, and knew there was plenty places I could improve.
Brands Hatch is notorious for being hard to pass but I went into the race confident I could make my way forward. During the race I moved up from 10th to 8th and set lap times consistently quick enough for a podium whenever I got into free air. A double safety car period consumed a lot of the race which made it even harder for me to get to the front and fight for a top 5 finish which was my aim. Overall it was an encouraging race but ultimately not the result I had been hoping to get.
The opening race on Sunday morning went much the same way as the previous days race had gone, I was able to climb from 8th to 6th but another lengthy safety car period at the halfway point cut my chances of moving any higher up the order. With a reverse top 8 for the final race my 6th place finish in this race gave me a good grid spot for the final race of the weekend.
Before the race we made some changes to the car to help the balance during the race as we had been chasing the ultimate set up since qualifying. This change made a big difference and really brought the car to life through the higher speed corners. In the beginning of the race the top 2 cars and myself broke away from the pack and battled for the win before a short safety car period closed up the whole pack again. I got a great restart and set about challenging for second position, in doing this I left myself open to attack from behind and a slight mistake meant I dropped to 4th. Similar to the start of the race the front group, this time all 4 cars, broke away from the pack and fought for the win. I crossed the line in 4th only 0.1’s off the podium.
Considering how the weekend began, to drag the car back up the order and narrowly miss out on a podium in the final race after having no practice and no time to perfect our set up was a big positive and overall a good end to the weekend.
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