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TVR Challenge - Brands Hatch 2011
Well that went well!
With some issues from Snetterton (new clutch plate and rebuilt gearbox) the car was fresh out of the box for a blast at Brands Indy. I’ve always run well here and the shorter circuit doesn’t allow the GpA cars to use their +70bhp as much as Snett so I was hopeful for a good result.
“Qually” went well with only 1 hot lap putting me 2nd on the grid behind GpA front runner Hui Marshall. Keith Vaughan Williams also hit a stellar lap only a 10th behind me and with Perry Waddams alongside completing the 2nd row.
I great start saw me take the lead as Hui bogged down. Not having been in front for 4 years I wondered what I could do to stay there as the gaggle of A cars looking very menacing behind me fought amongst themselves. Surprisingly I drew out a 4 second lead and maintained the lead for more than half the race, but once the pack had thinned out I was caught by Hui - who slotted in front at Paddock - did just enough to stay in front. With 5 seconds in my pocket I could hold off Martin Crass’ lovely A Tuscan to the flag for 1st in class and 2nd overall. My best result ever!
Next day and Race 2. We were up early and the cold and greasy track would keep everyone on their toes. During the green flag lap I took particular care to get as much heat in the tyres as possible as another good start would be very useful. The lights went out and I slowly (for a race start) moved away. I saw Hui move off more sharply but I held my nerve and maintained my pace, it was incredibly greasy and easy to spin. Once away I increased power and hooked up. As I moved across to block Hui I saw Perry had also started well which locked Keith into the rear of Hui. (Something that has happened to me several times!) Slipping and sliding we dropped over Paddock and thundered into Druids. The pack was closer than Race 1 but I got my head down and broke away. After 4 laps or so, I had realised that the front 3 were fighting hard so I had a good chance of winning outright. Unfortunately, Perry out braked himself at Druids and let both Keith anf Humacher loose as he off-roaded at the hairpin. The pressure was now on. Five laps to go and once again, Hui’s experience and horsepower overcame my plucky Tuscan at Paddock and with Martin in 3rd once more we finished in Race 1 order again.
So, two class wins keeps the Championship alight, with Keith and I dicing for Class B honours. Also possible, but not really a serious option is the Overall Championship. Only 4 races in, it’s anyone’s game at the moment, but we are still in the hunt and that’s good enough! Another big plus was that the Motorsport media were there and we were featured in Autosport, Motorsport News and even on Telly in the BRSCC Program! All around a great weekend.
Next is Donington Park GP! Birthplace of the Challenge it’s the highlight of the year for me. Only Hui and Jamie Golby have raced there so its going to be a good leveller and a terrific occasion.
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