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Long Overdue Podium at Brands Hatch! – FJ Racing

Long Overdue Podium at Brands Hatch!

2018 saw our podium efforts foiled all year due to bad luck outside of our control, despite running in podium position in most races; it was amazing to have not one but two podiums! It was a well-deserved reward for the teams efforts this weekend in the 2nd round of the very competitive, European GT4 Series.

Late delivery of the car meant that we had very little chance to do any testing. Within the 3 days, we had little time to fit in full laps with regular red flags in the session. As a result, Tom and I had very little time to learn the car and work on the set up. The team have worked tirelessly to get the car running really well in very short time periods – especially as they are running the cars in both the European GT4 and the British GT, meaning some very short turnaround times.

Brands was again very mixed conditions (although considerably less rain than we saw at Monza!). Neither of us managed to get a proper lap in for a decent qually, so we started from way down the pack in approximately 23rd out of about 38 cars for both races.

I started Race 1 and unusually for me, I didn’t get the best start meaning I had to work to get past more people in the first couple of laps. Still, I had great fun and some good battles to get past some people, annoyingly just as I was catching the next group – having had a battle to get past someone for a few laps – the safety car came out till the end of my stint. Tom drove a faultless stint as always and got us up to P3 in class (Pro-Am) so we got our first podium of the year! I have to say I was feeling a little out of place up there, as I think I had 30 years on the other people on the podium – not sure any of them were even old enough to drink the champagne we won!

Race 2 saw Tom start and he had a great first lap making up several places. He got us up to P1 in class and well up the overall pack. I went out after a slick driver change into P2 in class. Sadly, I out-brakedmyself into druids whilst fending off another car and let them past me, so finished the race in P3 again. Both of us had great drives, although I will admit to my stint being being quite hard work on the tyres, which were well past their best. Lets just say, it was a learning experience with the edges of grip!

Still, I was glad to see someone on there who helped bring up the average age on the podium, this time in the shape of supremely experienced, Alan Ferte, who was on the top step. This is a very competitive series, with some very well-known names on the grid. So all in all, we were very happy with our placings which currently puts us 4th in the Championship standings.

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