The double header weekend at Brands Hatch is always going to be a difficult one for us, a big Aston Martin festival with a chance race on the GP circuit always attracts big grids with everyone wanting to win a race in front of a big crowd. With 7 Aston GT4s and several new Ferrari 355’s on the grid we struggled in qualifying. We managed a low 55 second lap, which is the fastest lap we’ve ever done at Brands on the Indy, but it left us 21st on the grid.
We were using Dunlop tyres for the first time, which changed the handling of the car. We went with a different suspension setup for the race in an effort to make the car work better on the tyres. This made the car feel better in the race.
We managed to make up several positions on the first lap, using the outside line at druids curve and managing to out-brake the people lining up on the inside. Over the next few laps the race settled down pretty quickly with big groups forming as lap times were so similar.
The race became slightly disjointed with lots of incident, spins and contact. With cars lying across the track we made up and lost some positions and eventually lost ground on our class rivals.
We were heading for a reasonable result when the heavens opened. Clearways and Surtees were much more slippery than the other end of the circuit, and lots of cars managed to slide off the circuit, after seeing 2 Ferrari’s spin off in tandem in front of us, we managed to keep it just about on the track, then we slowed down the a crawl for the last couple of laps, with a massive sigh of relief when the chequered flag came out. We came home in 8th overall and 2nd in class.
Since the car felt pretty good on the Indy circuit we decided to leave the car unchanged for the Grand Prix layout on the Sunday. Qualifiying went well, the car felt very good, and we used the full 25minutes of the session to re-learn the circuit. We went 1 second quicker than we did in the race last year, so we were pleased. Unfortunately this left us 20th on the grid with lots of work to do again in the afternoon.
The start wasn’t as good as Saturday’s with the lead group taking the start much faster and leaving the cars lower on the grid far behind. The race was shaken up by an early safety car caused by the retirement of Wayne Marrs and Steve Atkinson, 2 of our close championship rivals. This meant the whole safety car line came into the pits at the same time, causing chaos in the pit lane. We very narrowly avoided contact with 2 Aston GT4s but we made up several positions in the pits. Unfortunately we were held up behind a car that was unable to catch the safety car, which left us around ½ a lap behind class rivals. We had some good close racing towards the end, just missing out on 13th to a Ferrari on the line by 0.09seconds. We finished 14th overall and 2nd in class. We have now finished 2nd in class at every race this season!
See you all at Silverstone on August 2nd.
Indy circuit race video
GP circuit race video