Tuesday 14 March 2017

Brands Hatch Report

Hi all

So it was off to Brands last Friday for the first race of my season, couldn't believe it came round so quick, I'm used to starting my season at the end of April, not early March.

Still, the weather was kind to us and Friday was a test day. This was much needed as I last raced at Brands 18 years ago when I seemed to race there every weekend , so was very rusty.

It was a great day though and I got six 15 minute sessions, was great to get so much practice time in.

Even after such a long time since I was last there the circuit still went the same way, which was as about as much as I could remember, so had to re learn braking markers, turn in points and apex's, still it all started coming back to me.

The only problem I had with the bike was the wheel bearings decided to pick Friday to fail on me, which caused some handling problems.

One corner they'd be fine, the next they'd cause a vague feeling in the front end, still I battled on.

By the end of the day I felt more confident and was ready for Saturday.

The weather was again good for Saturday and it was off to qualifying.

Qualifying was a 15 minute session, after which I did a best time of 1:04, not great but I wasn't the slowest.

I was out for the first race and I had a good race long battle with another guy, who managed to stay in front throughout the race, but fun all the same.

My time improved to 1:01, so was pleased with that.

My second race I got a better start, only to lose it all as a guy on the grid in front of me stalled and was stationary on my line, so had to back off to avoid him, which cost me my tow on the back of the pack, so had a lonely race, which resulted in a lap of 1:02.

Sunday started out as another grand day weather wise, but we'd been promised heavy rain later in the day.

Luckily my first race, was second out, so weather was still good.

I managed to get another good start and had good race, and my time improved to 1:00, which is only 3 seconds off my previous best lap ever around Brands, 18 years ago, so not all bad.

Sundays second race was hit by the weather which we'd promised, but luckily it wasn't as bad as we'd expected, so the track was damp rather than wet.

As such I stuck with my intermediate tyres, but this was a mistake.

The sighting lap was ok, but as I entered the first corner after the start, the back end of the bike came around on me, so thought it was prudent to call it a day whilst still upright.

I was really surprised how slippery the circuit was and honestly thought it wasn't wet enough for full wets. I certainly wouldn't have fitted wets if I'd been racing on the roads, another lesson I've learnt about short circuits.

It was a good weekend and have realised how different racing on the roads is to circuits, but am sure I will get back into it with a bit of practice.

Talking of which, I'm off to Brands Hatch again this weekend for another two days of racing, which I'm excited about, fingers crossed all will go well.

On the subject of things being crossed, Steve found a use for my hot exhaust

Apparently they tasted lovely, and only a little metallic.

If you'd like to see some pictures of me in action then check out www.kentbadboyzphotography.co.uk who is the club photographer. I was number 24 in the Minitwins, wearing a white crash helmet, I mention that as Steve kept looking out for me wearing a black one.

Not many jobs to do between now and next weekend, luckily, being only a few days to go.

Hopefully I will have good stuff to write about next week, and will as soon as I can.


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