A Win to End the Year on a High
A win to End the Year on a High. As the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy Championship ended at the end of September and with the car running well, we decided that we didn’t want the season to end and so entered the final round of the Classic Sports Car Club Open Championship at Brands Hatch in early November and a new race format – a one off 30 minute pitstop race.
We know the track so well, living less than two miles away, so we always class any race at Brands Hatch as out ‘home’ track. The car went into Tom Motorsport after the last race at Mallory Park for a ‘spanner and fluid check’ ahead of the race along with a set of new tyres.
The Saturday race morning began with a downpour which meant that qualifying would be wet along with the likelyhood of the race also being wet. Tom Motorsport set about making set-up changes to the car from a dry setup to wet setup and we headed out for qualifying.
I’ve always enjoyed racing in the wet since my karting days and I certainly know Brands Hatch well, so it was great to end the qualifying session in third place overall and first in class, ahead of some very quick cars, which in dry conditions we wouldn’t stand a chance against.
When we arrived back in parc ferme it turned out that three competitors had complained about the tyres we were using. We use Kuhmo tyres, following the recommendation to switch from Toyo by Spoox Motorsport last year. We have different compounds that we use depending on track conditions from medium, soft and super soft in very wet conditions. All this meant that we had to start the race on our dry tyres, which hadn’t been ‘scrubbed in’ and at the back of the grid in 24th position – yet more racing politics to deal with!
We’ve become accustomed to politics since we’ve been winning races and it’s all part of the fun – turning up in our ‘little old Peugeot’, ruffling some feathers and beating some much quicker cars (on paper) and this was no different. While it wasn’t ideal starting on brand new tyres which hadn’t gone through a heat cycle or weren’t ideal for wet weather, I was still confident on having a strong finish in the race, having seen how much quicker we were in qualifying than the other cars in our class.
I was looking forward to a new race format in the one off 30 minute pitstop race and so we started the ‘rolling grid’ in 24th and last position. By the end of the second lap, we had managed to get up to 14th place and first in class, without really pushing too hard. By the time the race had reached the half way mark, we had managed to progress through the field and into 10th place overall before the mandatory pitstop. As it was only me driving the car, this involved driving into the pits, getting out of the car, closing the door and getting back into the car and strapped back in before being able to leave for the track.
A slick pitstop by Tom and Terry enabled me to make up another place in the pits. Over the remaining ten minutes of the race, we managed to get up to 6th place overall while maintaining class lead – in fact I managed to lap everyone else in class by at least two laps!
And so the racing season finished on a high with a win. After all the problems we suffered throughout this year, it’s always nice to return ‘home’ with another win which gives everyone a lift going into the winter ahead of the 2018 season.
A massive thanks to my race sponsors and in particular to Tom Burgess of Tom Motorsport, who without help and assitance from, racing would not be possible along with Spoox Motorsport.
2018 will once again see us complete in the Tricolore Trophy along with some appearances in the CSCC Open Series.
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