After a good 6 months or so out of the car I harboured some dreams of turning up to Brands Hatch to a dry track, maybe some sunshine and a chance to get my confidence back…obviously I had forgotten my usual wet track curse! After only having one completely dry race weekend last year I should have expected the damp track still clad with the previous weekends BTCC rubber giving us a “slippery as $%&” start to the day!
For once though I was well organised and arrived in good time, with the car already emptied and ready to go thanks to the Routec crew arriving the night before! This allowed me to catch up with a few racing friends, get signed on, watch the rain start to fall (which was apparently my fault!!) and then get ready for the briefing. I think you can safely say 90% of the cars were race prepped but this did not excuse us from the infamous briefing! We got out just in time for me to throw my race suit on and head out for the sighting laps. With these complete it was back to the pits to stuff my face with biscuits waiting for the rest of the sighting laps to be completed…and fuel myself on Ribena!
The start of the day was very much about survival struggling to get heat in to the tyres with a lack of confidence and a very slippery Brands Hatch. As lunch approached we had a nearly dry track to play with and I started to feel the confidence coming back as the rust began to shake off! This was great fun. Unfortunately once lunch came the rain had left us with a rather damp track again meaning the first half of the afternoon was again more about survival. Unfortunately quite a few red flags were caused by other Compacts at Paddock Hill…the most impressive being a rollover! RAW may have some work to do before Sunday. Towards the end of the day the track was pretty much dry again and some more useful pushing the limits running could be had but with being a good boy and not logging any times it was hard to say how I was running. Certainly better than earlier in the day though! I was on very old tyres so hopefully with the nice weather and brand new rubber to go on Sunday I can find the pace I want and have some good battles in the midfield pack!
Towards the end of the day I let Neil loose in my car for the final 10 minutes so he could give some feedback on where he felt it could be improved which was interesting. After we’d packed up I decided to hang about for a while watching the evening track day that was going on as it had become a lovely evening and I wanted to miss a bit of the rush hour traffic! This turned out to be a great idea as my trip home was wonderfully clear.
Plenty of footage has been studied since my return home to try and figure out where to improve come Sunday! I really can’t wait now! The Compact Cup qualifying sessions kick off the Sunday action at 10am and it’ll be great to see as many of you there as possible! Now all that is left to do is pack my race gear back up and head on up to Brands again tomorrow. Wish me luck!