2021 Club Enduro Championship.
Round 3, Brands Hatch Indy.
Alex worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to get the car ready for Brands Hatch after the Croft disappointment only two weeks earlier. This is our local circuit, so we enjoyed extra support from friends and family in the June heat. It was so warm that we opted to remove the roof, thinking that any aerodynamic gain would be cancelled out by fatigue near the end of the long stints.
Qualifying went quite well. Initially we were worried it would be too busy to find space with 41 cars on track, but it wasn’t so bad and the short circuit does mean you get more laps. We set the 4th fastest time from the 13 teams in our class, so we were in the right neck of the woods.
Alex had a good start and drove a great first stint, running 4th with the leaders only a handful of seconds up the road. On lap 44 the Safety Car was called, so he headed in for our driver change. The pit stop went well, with everyone doing a great job to turn the car round just a shade over the mandatory minimum time.
Initially was in 7th place, but as other cars pitted and I overlook some drivers I found myself in 2nd, about 12 seconds behind the Mazda MX-5 driven by British GT racer James Kell (it started life as a SuperCup car like ours, but has since enjoyed some upgrades!).
I managed to catch up by taking advantage of traffic and also spending a few laps enjoying a nice tow from a class B Golf. When I got close though I found I wasn’t quick enough in the right areas to pass immediately. There were plenty of laps left and I didn’t need to panic, so I set about filling his mirrors and adding pressure.
Another Safety Car came out on lap 89 and afterwards I attacked. It wasn’t long until I saw smoke coming from his car and with 25 minutes remaining I decided to give him some space, as I didn’t want to spin on any oil. Suddenly we were close again so I took the chance to fight past, after which they retired the car. It was a shame for them as it was a fun race, but we were really happy to finally realise the potential we knew we had.
I knocked off the final 20 minutes without drama and it was smiles all round in the garage after the race.
Obviously a huge thank you needs to go to Alex. Not only for a solid first stint, but for putting it all together and working so hard to get the car ready in time with Boreham Motorsport.