With just a few weeks remaining to qualify for the showdown it was time to visit Brands Hatch. Brands is always action packed and a favourite of the drivers and all the Apex drivers were all up for a night of action-packed racing. Check out the meeting here.
Apex Racing UK won the round in both the Drivers and Team points, Here are a few recaps from the drivers.
Brands Hatch GP
I filled in for Andy this week and at Brands Hatch, I wasn’t super optimistic coming in, especially with no prior practice before jumping into the session. Fortunately, the setup work done by the guys was excellent, once I got my eye in I felt quite comfortable. I managed to get pretty close to the perfect lap in qualifying in the tow to put it on pole, doing a time a solid half a second quicker than I had managed in practice so I was pretty pleased.
Race 1 I got a good start and there was a bit of fighting behind. It took me a few laps to hit a rhythm but once Wojciech got clear of Nicol I started to really get a feel for things and could maintain the gap to win.
Race 2 I was starting well down the order in P34 and decided to play it nice and safe where I can but not be too shy in picking up places if they present themselves. A lot of carnage ahead but it didn’t trickle down as far as I was, so I quietly moved up to the top 20 and set myself up for Race 3.
Race 3 was a full reverse grid, so I had plenty of work starting from P22. I made a good start and was quickly picking off guys up until P5 on lap 5 where I encountered Jack McIntyre. Into Paddock Hill I got quarter-panelled off the road and narrowly avoided the barrier, then had to wait for a gap to try and get going again. I ended up somewhere in the mid-30’s for position and scrambled back to P27. Fortunately, the wheel was fairly kind to me and I started in P10 for the final race.
Race 4 I managed to get a good start and was up to P6 quite early on. It took a little while to get past Rob Graham as he defended aggressively. Once I had done so and found my way to P4 I had Wright and Roberts ahead. Out of Clearways, they got into each other and both speared left into the wall. I had about 4 seconds to Cunniffe ahead but plenty of laps to work on it, so I got the head down and pushed. 3 laps to go I got up to the back of him and we had a fine side-by-side battle for the win, starting the move out of Paddock Hill Bend and finishing it on the brakes into Dingle Dell. I managed things for the last couple of laps to pick up a second win of the night.
Brands Hatch GP
Jamie stepped in for Andy this week and instantly stuck it on the pole and won race 1 My evening wasn’t quite that simple I qualified 7th which I was delighted with as my pace wasn’t that great in practice and ended up 11th for race 1. Brands GP for me is one of those tracks where if you are overtaken by one driver two or three could easily get past as well and this was the case at the start. Once it settled down there were a couple of door to door moments but I managed to bring it home. Race two was less dramatic starting 24th I finished 22nd, lost out at the start again and came back up through others crashing. The full reverse grid threw me out in 20th mid pack was not ideal and felt id battled the same few people all night. A large crash down the back straight took a few out midway through and thankfully spread the pack out giving me some brief respite from the intense battling. On the tricky hot track temp, I managed 15th another satisfying finish although sometimes any finish is a good finish. In the last race I started 22nd again around the same driver’s id been battling with all night, Wojciech made a good start from a few cars behind and I tried to follow him through the pack. Unfortunately, his race was ruined on the last lap and me having already picked up 10 incidents due to a 4x that ended Rustys race abruptly a few laps prior gingerly drove past the wrecks to finish 11th. We scored well as a team tonight on a tough evening when some of the racing wasn’t the cleanest but maybe with showdown 1 more meeting away some are going for broke.
Brands Hatch GP
I start this race really exhausted with hour practice and had no big expectations! On qualifying, Jamie and Woj helped me to take the 4th place on the grid which was not bad!
Race1 decided to start with a conservative wing which ruined my race completely. I was hoping to clean the third spot on the first lap but had no luck as Foggie did an amazing job and defend well! After 3 laps I realized that the setup not going to help me and I started losing ground under my tires. The last lap had to defend from Craft to keep my 4th position.
Race 2 started way back of the grid and for some reason, I felt good with the car and decide to take every possible position I can. Had some great battles and gained more than 20 positions. Unnecessary pushing as that position puts me again way back of the tail for the next race but, I felt like is time to enjoy racing!
Race 3 and the burning sun brings the hell on the track making the tarmac a grill for the tires! It was time to experiment with the setup and start with very wired set. My goal was 26 and I was there on lap 3! Then I gain some more positions because of incidents around and decided to give some to people behind hoping for a better reverse position on last race of the night!
Race 4 The wheel puts me 13th for the last race and I know I have a chance for the podium if I play my cards well! I put the correct setup this time and things become somehow easier! I see Jamie making his progress and I try to do the same! Unfortunately, George Simons had a big moment on T1 and almost stopped on the apex of the corner which lead to brutal contact and my car got big damage! It was slow but drivable and I was just behind the last podium position! Somehow managed to take it but had to defend very hard from Harod who was a lot faster than me at that point. Mission complete.
Team kik tonight and we collect almost 1k ! Well done to Jamie for the 2 wins and well done to everyone for the amazing job which leads to another win for Apex!