Fantastic start to 2014 at Brands Hatch

ThundersportGB Formula 600

Race 1 - 4th
Race 2 - 6th
Race 3 - 6th
Championship Pos. - 4th

 

The 2014 ThundersportGB season got off to a positively Mediterranean start at Brands Hatch, with the weekend culminating in wall to wall sunshine and temperatures over 20c!Racing through all the classes was intense, with the Sportsman Elite Formula 600 no exception.After a very successful test day on the Friday, we were all set for Qualifying Saturday morning.  The initial posted results from qualifying put me in 3rd position in the Formula 600, and so I was very excited for the race, and hoping to hold on to that podium spot!I got a great start, and held my ground, although a couple of small mistakes which put me on to the curbs meant I lost a couple of the places I had gained in the Sportsman Elite field.  However, I kept my closest Formula 600 rival behind me and came into Parc Ferme expecting a skip up onto the podium; what a  way to start the season!  However, I was quickly informed that a rider further up the field had been put into the wrong class for the morning qualifying, as was in fact a Formula 600 rider.  This meant, after his reclassification, that he had the last podium spot and I was 4th.  Still a great result but with a little tinge of disappointment...!Sunday morning I set out again -  got another great start and moved up the Sportsman Elite field.  I ended up in a bit of free space, and worked to keep the consistency of the lap times.  Towards the end of the race, though, my rear tyre started to lose grip and I was struggling through the last corner.  In trying to adjust my line in to get a better drive out my closest F600 competitor managed to sneak past.   I kept with him until the end but he held the position.   Again, after the race, I found out about another reclassification which gave me a 6th place in the end.  Still, good points and a solid result!

For the last race, after speaking to Continental Tyres, I took the plunge and I decided to go with a new set of Conti RaceAttack race tyres for the last race, to try and break the 50s barrier and give me the best chance in the final race.    I got a good start again, and found that with the new rubber I had much more confidence to push my way up the pack, and by lap 5 I had made some great passes and was up from 21st  to 15th place in the Sportsman Elite field.  The rest of the race was spend dicing with some other Sportsman Elite riders and I was having a great time with the new sticky rubber.  On the penultimate lap, I discovered that my closest F600 was still with me, even after all the overtakes, as he suddenly found his way through.  Very frustrating!  Again, I kept with him across the line, but he gained the 5th position.  So it was another 6th place, with more solid points.

Overall it was a fantastic start to my 2014 Formula 600 campaign.  I put in the fastest lap times I have ever done around Brands Hatch, and the new Continental rubber helped me towards my closest ever time to the leader.   It was a start to the season that really sets us up well for the year ahead.  I can't wait for Donington Park on April 12th\13th.

The Sunday races will be televised on MotorsTV (Freeview 240, Sky 447) at 7.30pm on Thursday March 20th

Posted on March 11, 2014 and filed under Race Reports 2014.