Round 1, Brands Hatch
The first race weekend of the year was at Brands Hatch. It’s my local circuit, so it was lovely to have friends and family there. Greg and Bloss from ValetPRO came along too, so it was great to show them how it all works and what I spend their money on!
We had a tough day in testing on Friday, so made a few changes for Saturday morning. I found some time and was surprised to be running 3rd fastest in my qualifying session! I finished up 4th, which put me 8th on the grid for the first A race. With 50 drivers in the championship, my first target for the year is a top 10 finish in an A race; so this was a good start.
I got away well and ran in 8th, but wasn’t quite able to keep with the guys in front. A red flag stoppage meant a full grid restart and I knew that I needed to get past people early doors if I was going to move up. From the start I was up to 7th and then, while going for 6th, I out braked myself and threw it off into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend. Hands up, my fault. I’ve not been in there before, so I guess there is a first time for everything.
Not finishing the race put me down into the B group for race 2. After the AB Motorsport guys had worked some magic to sort the car out, I started 4th. I was able to grab the lead early on and pulled away to win the race by 10 seconds. Even though it was a B race, we still went up on the podium, had trophies and did a couple of interviews too, which was nice. This result put me back into the A group for race 3.
I started 30th in race 3. I knew I wasn’t going to win it, but still wanted to get stuck right in. It was a cracking race and I learnt a lot. I was fighting with someone pretty much every lap and in the end finished up 13th, which was pleasing. The pace is there for that top 10 finish, and perhaps even more this year. Can’t wait for the next race weekend at Cadwell Park now.