The last weekend of July saw the BRSCC Toyo Porsches return to Brands Hatch for a pair of races and it proved to be an extremely eventful weekend for me, landing my first win in the Championship followed by a 2nd place on the Sunday.
The forecast suggested rain was quite likely, at least on the Saturday if not both days and up until now I’d never had much confidence – or even done remotely well – on a wet track. It was therefore quite a surprise to climb out of the car after qualifying to be told I’d not only held pole for much of the session but also, at one point, to have been third overall in the 8-car grid.
Although the rain subsided for a while, it returned to make Race 1 as wet as the qualifying session had been. I started on the outside of the front row next to Pete and my start wasn’t quite quick enough to beat him to turn 1. Tucking in behind him – which of course made it pretty difficult to see – I hung on for lap after lap, never quite in a position to challenge him, but the close, relentless pursuit finally paid off when he made a mistake at the notorious Graham Hill bend, spinning off to the left onto the grass. With only one and a half laps left, I just need to keep a cool head to grab my first ever 924 class win. Pete had posted fastest lap so gained an extra point, which I could have done with. The rain meant that the Boxsters just couldn’t use their power advantage and I wasn’t overtaken at all in the race, completing the 20 minutes just under half a lap behind the overall winner, and finishing ahead of one of the Class A cars.
As much as I really wanted it to rain again, race 2 on the Sunday was on a completely dry track. I was on pole with Pete to my left and Moluto team-make and 2019 rookie John Jones just behind us. John made a great start, slotting up the middle of Pete and I. With me closest to the apex, John held on to 2nd into Paddock, delaying Pete enough to help me hang on to the lead for an incredible 6 laps. On lap 7, Pete got a better speed through Paddock and up the hill, meaning he was quick enough to try an overtake up my inside at the Druids hairpin. I hung on to his tail for a while, threatening a move to re-take the lead at Druids on the next lap, but I didn’t want to take too much of a risk and eventually Pete pulled away to win, leaving me to land a safe 2nd.
Our next races – again just two spread over the weekend – are to be at Anglesey – a circuit I’ve never even visited, let alone raced on. Its possible that we’ll see a much increased grid, with some part-time drivers and possibly even a multiple ex-champion (who I have since beaten once) join us on the picturesque circuit. I will need good finishes in both races in order to catch Pete and John, who are now in joint second place in the points table.