2018 Round 1, Brands Hatch Indy

The 2018 BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship started at Brand Hatch, on the Indy circuit. In contrast to the great old circuit, the event marked several firsts for us: new engine, new colour scheme and new race number! As has been the case for the last few years, the BRSCC MX-5 Championship is so well subscribed that the 48 car grid had to be split into A and B races once again, with a promotion and relegation system in place.

Qualifying took place on a drying track and my time was good enough for 4th fastest, which would be a 7th place start for race 1A. I got boxed in at the start and dropped to 10th before beginning to work my way back up. I was keen not to throw it into the gravel which I did last year, so was pleased that I managed to get up into 6th. By that time there was a large gap to 5th and I had a good scrap with Charlie Burge, who I couldn’t break away from. He just managed to slip past on the penultimate lap, so hats off to him.

Despite a great getaway from 7th on the grid, I again didn’t have anywhere to go and was boxed in for the second time! I was down to 9th this time, but I was able to get back into 6th earlier and close up on Martin Tolley in 5th. We slightly pulled away from Burge & co, but I was never really had the pace or was quite close enough to have a stab at overtaking. 6th place was another good points finish though.

Finally I found myself with space at the start of the third race, and was able to get into 5th place by the exit of Druids. I hung onto the top four well for over half the race, but as the laps went past I began to slip away. It seemed I was over working the tyres and before long Tolley passed me, so I was back in 6th again. There was a large gap behind, so that was that.

Overall, a solid start to the year with much better results than 12 months ago. I’ll need a little more pace to fight at the front, and work out how to keep that pace longer in the races. Snetterton is just round the corner though, so I’ll have another chance soon.