BRITISH GT 2020
RD.3 BRANDS HATCH GP
Following on from the previous round at Donington Park, I was hoping for better fortune at my favourite circuit on the calendar and one that I’ve enjoyed a lot of success at in the past. It is of course, Brands Hatch!
I’d spent a lot of time in the sim before this round as I was eager to make amends for the result that went amiss at the previous round. Over the course of the past 2 years at this track I’d accumulated a total of 3 podiums in the past 4 races I’d started there and I’d never qualified lower than 2nd. The weekend didn’t start off ideally with my #9 McLaren 720S GT3 picking up a turbo issue in FP1 halting our running and not allowing us to get a new tyre run in before qualifying. Going into qualifying blind on setup was never going to be easy and I really struggled to piece a good lap together in the 10 minutes I had. In the end mine and my teammate Dean Macdonald’s lap was good enough for 6th position on the grid just 3 thousandths off of 5th. It wasn’t a bad qualifying position and we were quite close to the front row of the grid but I know if we’d have been given the chance to work on our qualifying setup, we’d have been able to start in a more competitive position.
As the lights went out on the 2-hour race, I made a good start to move up into 5th and then at the end of the first lap I got a good run out of the final corner and progressed into 4th. Great start! The top two had broken away so I had to get past the Mercedes in 3rd. Annoyingly, our car was so down on straight line speed compared to the Merc that passing was incredibly difficult and I was stuck for 10-15 minutes staring at the back end of 3rd place as I could watch the top 2 get away. It was so frustrating and as I tried harder to get past, I was being caught by the guys behind. I was finally able to get past and get into clear air. Once I was through my times were strong and I was lapping the same pace as the leaders but I’d lost so much time that I was never going to be able to make up the time I’d lost earlier in my stint. A late safety car closed up the gap and when I pitted to hand over to Dean we were able to re-emerge in 3rd just behind the top 2. For the final stint the field was bunched up to one big train, and even though we were faster than the car in 2nd we were unable to get past and would finish the race another strong P3 to collect our second podium of the season.
6th to 3rd was a strong result and considering the struggles we’d encountered throughout the weekend it was probably the best result we could’ve gotten. The team did a great job all weekend fixing the broken turbo in FP1 and then utilising our track time to set up a great race car for Sunday reaped rewards and was hard-earned!
Thank you to all my amazing sponsors, especially my main sponsors Cambridge & Counties Bank and Classic Car Finance. The next round is in a couple of weeks’ time at Donington Park where we will be challenging for tops spots once again in the first 3 hour race of the season.