With the season now past the halfway point and as we have been very fortunate with weather conditions so far this year, it was inevitable that we were going to have another wet race meeting. Round 6 out of 10 at Brands Hatch was going to be very interesting as even though most of us had raced here before, a lot had not faced the circuit in the wet including myself.
Free Practice was not an accurate test for the car or myself in the wet conditions as the car was not set up to its full capability. This meant that I came off a few times but it was pleasing to see that it was not only me coming off the track and finding the conditions difficult, especially through the Graham Hill corner. After making a few adjustments to the car’s handling, it was not long before we were back out on track in timed practice.
Although, my luck didn’t seemed to have changed during qualifying and for some reason I was unable to keep the car on the track despite changing my driving style various times to try and set a quicker lap time. This left me with a heart breaking 20th on the grid. Before the race I then studied the track carefully to try and work out whether the problem was with the car or myself and I made sure that I was fully prepared for the race. The overhead clouds had now disappeared for a short while and had allowed the track to dry up so this prompted a change to dry tyres.
On the start line, my car crawled off the line and by Druids bend I had been left behind. For 2 laps my car struggled round very slowly until I pulled into the pit lane. There we tried to figure out what the problem was and at first there were suspicions I had left the handbrake on. At first when I rejoined the track this seemed true as my car was travelling a lot faster, but then I found a problem with the rear brakes and from my point of view they seemed to be sticking or staying on. All I could do for the rest of the race was to test how the car was going and learn more about the other competitors on the track. The result was that I finished 2 laps down and I was extremely disappointed, as it will set back all the progress I was starting to make in the championship. This problem seems to be another mystery, but it may have been the reason why I kept coming off the track when entering corners in the wet conditions. All I know is that I am extremely determined to perform well at Silverstone in a fortnight and I will drive the best race of my life to ensure I get a decent result.
Final thanks go to our friends Tom and Verena who watched me at both race meetings at Brands Hatch this season and supported and encouraged me even though I have had difficulties at Brands Hatch this year. All i can hope for is that my luck will turn around.