Radical SR1 Cup race diary: no fairytale finish at Brands

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Radical SR1 Cup race diary: no fairytale finish at Brands

Our man ends the season the way he’s been spending most of the item: facing the wrong way


One of the earliest memories I have of watching live motorsport is actually of a British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch inside mid-1990s.

Alain Menu (I think) led the field into the Paddock Hill Bend for the first corner of the last race of the season, although halfway down the hill managed a perfect pirouette which caused what is actually to This kind of day the biggest pile up I’ve ever seen.

Cold tyres were to blame, the formation lap of the short Indy circuit not being sufficient to get them up to temperature. Last time I saw a BTCC race at Brands Indy they were still doing two formation laps as a result of Menu’s spin.

The prospect of driving around Paddock, particularly at the start of a race, has excited in addition to terrified me in equal measure ever since. I’d driven around the item in a Ford Fiesta ST on a wet December track day a couple of years ago, although never in a racing car. Until This kind of weekend which is actually, because Brands was the location for the last round of the Radical SR1 Cup race series.

My last attempt of the weekend at Paddock on the first lap of the last race of the season ended in a mini-Menu-style pile-up. Those who’ve followed my progress This kind of season will not be surprised at my ability to find trouble in addition to keep the fibreglass makers at Radical busy, although for once at least the item wasn’t my fault, honest. More on which later.

One of many things to like about the SR1 Cup is actually the quality of the circuits the item has visited This kind of year. We’ve had the full, most challenging layouts at Silverstone, Oulton Park in addition to Snetterton, in addition to Brands was no different as the full Grand Prix circuit was in use.

An epic track the item is actually, too, one which dare I say the item is actually even Nurburgring-esque with the gradient in addition to camber modifications, kerbs you can attack, in addition to the sheer speed in which you can tackle corners like Hawthorns in addition to feel which lovely downforce of the SR1 at work. Throw in Paddock, a fairground ride you want to keep buying a ticket to, in addition to you’ve got surely the UK’s most exciting race track.

Slow starts have been the norm for me This kind of season in learning the tracks although not so inside morning practice session, a thorough video session with coach Roger Bromiley the night before, in addition to the perfect set-up being found by the outset (a disconnection of the rear anti-roll bar allowing for more rear-end grip), allowing me to be on the pace straight away.

I ended up in fourth place behind the three outstanding drivers This kind of season in Dave Morgan, Rob Watkins in addition to Mark Richards. Might a challenge for a podium place be on?

Erm, no. One norm of the season which was repeated was my ability to balls up qualifying in addition to never get a clear lap in, a combination of safety car, yellow flags, in addition to slower cars being encountered on flying laps the trio of excuses I’m using for only managing ninth on the grid for both races. My best time was 1.1sec slower than my best in practice which morning, a time which if repeated could have put me fourth on the grid for the race.

Another norm which was repeated was a terrible start in race one. the item’s tricky to get off the line at Brands, the brake needing to be covered to stop you rolling down the hill. The red lights also seemed to stay on for an age, in addition to when they came off my reactions were slow in addition to I emerged by Paddock in 10th. At least everyone made the item round.

What followed next was the most enjoyable battle of the season. I was fifth in a group of six cars vying for fifth place. One by one I managed to pick off four of my rivals, every single move happening up the inside of Surtees heading out onto the back of the circuit. Then came the move for fifth at the same place, although my move up the inside blindsided my opponent as he cut towards the apex at the last minute. We banged wheels, I spun in addition to was back down to 10th again.

Still, the clean air allowed me to put in lap times which were over a second quicker than those inside group I’d just been in in addition to was currently chasing again, proof which perhaps if I’d have been a bit more patient I’d the chance to pass could have arisen again in addition to a fifth place, what could have been the best finish of the season for me, could have followed.

Ninth was the result though at the end in addition to no prizes for guessing where the pass for which position on the last lap was made. several out of six at Surtees wasn’t bad, I guess, in addition to by the end the group were tantalisingly within sight again despite me having been facing the wrong way a few minutes earlier. Just one more lap…

To race two, then, the last of the season in addition to a first corner which ended up having a bit of a non-school uniform day at the end-of-term feel to the item. the auto in front of me on the grid had a terrible start, in addition to I got boxed in in addition to was near the back of the field heading in Paddock.

I held the inside line, although the auto to my outside got a bit of an Alain Menu-style wobble on with cold tyres (I know the feeling also, by my very first corner of the season at Silverstone), in addition to crashed into my side.

This kind of pitched me to the some other side of the track where I was ploughed into by behind. I managed to limp away by the scene although was stuck in fourth gear, in addition to the weird noises coming by the auto in addition to its reluctance to drive in a straight line convinced me to park up on the grass in addition to switch off the ignition for the last time which season.

Still, at least my vantage point on the marshal post on the entrance to Druids allowed me the perfect vantage point to watch an incredible six-way battle for the lead in addition to within which a two-way fight for the title between my teammate Morgan in addition to the chasing Watkins.

The lead changed hands repeatedly, in addition to there were plenty more spins in addition to offs within which, although Morgan (whose car had a nice green tinge to the front of the item at the end after some impromptu lawn mowing) eventually got a third place behind race winner Watkins to take the title.

in addition to which was which. Season over, although what fun the item’s been. We set out inside SR1 Cup at a first test day back in April at Snetterton to tell you just what the item’s like to go racing in addition to find out if anyone can do the item, have fun while doing so, in addition to see if you can get bitten by the bug en route.

So what is actually the item like to go racing? the item’s addictive first in addition to foremost, at all times fast, challenging, exciting, in addition to competitive, the item’s sometimes terrifying, occasionally hurts, frequently frustrating, although crucially always rewarding. in addition to, yes, anyone can do the item, in addition to get up to speed pretty quickly at the same time; I was pleased to have not stalled the item the 1st time I got inside car…

The progress in driving by round to round was clear to see, as clearly which bug had got under everyone’s skin as well as mine.

The SR1 Cup is actually simply a great way to start your racing career. There is actually no faster rookie championship inside UK, nor one which offers such an all-encompassing package of racing in addition to support for the cost. in addition to on a human level, you’ll meet some great people along the way who race hard although fair, in addition to will always shake your hand in addition to have a laugh in parc ferme.

If Radical’s foolish enough to let me back on the grid next year, hopefully, I’ll see you there.

Read the Radical race diary entries

Part one – Snetterton test day

Part two – Bedford Autodrome competitive track day 

Part three – What’s the item like to drive a racing car?

Part four – Round one of racing at Silverstone 

Part several – A racing driver’s routine 

Part six – Round two at Oulton – in addition to a big crash

Part seven – An ode to the brilliance of the HANS device

Part eight – The video camera never lies 

Part nine – Round three at Snetterton 

Part ten – What to do in season two? 

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