Race Report - Trophies at Brands Hatch
Track: Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
Car: Clio Cup Gen 3
Driver: Neal Foster
Race Series: MSVR All-Comers
The Bank Holiday weekend, saw us visit Brands hatch, where we were supporting Neal Foster in his Gen 3 Clio cup race car. We were racing in the MSVR All-Comers race, supporting the various Mini championships at the Brands Hatch mini festival.
Friday consisted of four 30-minute test sessions. This was essential for us because this was Neal's first time driving the Indy circuit and also his first real test in the car.
The first session went well, Neal took it steady as he learnt the lines and got a feel for the car. He finished the session by posting a 64.8 second lap time. We set a goal of a sub 60 second lap by the end of the day.
Throughout the other 3 sessions Neal gained more and more confidence, gradually getting faster and faster. Between each session, along with his driver coach - Ben Davis, we looked through the video footage and picked up on a couple of areas that he could work on, and improve. Neal listened to Ben and ended the day on a 59.07 second lap. Goal achieved.
After a good night sleep and the track now dry again after a lot of rain overnight, it was time for qualifying. Neal oozed confidence and was looking forward to getting back out on track.
During qualifying, despite a couple of red flags, Neal managed to get a couple of clear laps, resulting in another personal best lap time of 57.07 seconds! This put him a respectable 17th overall and 3rd in class.
After a spot of lunch, it was time for our 1st race of the day. Starting in the middle of the pack, Neal had some good battles, maintaining a consistent lap time between high 57s and mid 58s posting a fastest time of 57.56. Unfortunately the race was cut short at the end of Neals 10th lap, by the coming together of 3 cars further up the field. all 3 drivers were ok, however the cars suffered substantial damage. Neal finished in 15th overall and 3rd in class.
On to race 2, this was the last race of the day and Neal was loving the car, the mid-afternoon rain that fell had dried up and we were ready to race. We had already met our goals for the weekend so there was no pressure, Neal was just going out to have fun.
Starting from 15th Neal had a good race and spent many laps battleing for position with 2 other cars from the same class. He managed many consistent lap times and even got another personal best lap time of 56.56, beating his previous best time by half a second. Although he finished in the same position as he started overall, 15th, Neal finished 2nd in class.
All in all, we had a successful weekend at Brands Hatch, Neal now loves this car, and feels so much more comfortable in it and is looking forward to his next outing - Cadwell Park MSVR All-Comers race.