Brands Hatch Indy, Full Race Report June 2021
In a shock change to yesterday, Brands Hatch this morning was cool and damp with rain in the air and lots of rain forecast for later on. No one had run a damp or wet set up yesterday in Free Practice or Qualifying so no data was available and the teams weren’t sure how dry the track was as it was definitely damp in places under the trees.
With Aiden in 5th and Ash in 7th, it was to be an important start. After the first 2 corners Aiden was up to 2nd and Ash 4th!! On Lap 2 Carl was up to 14th to prove the cars pace. Lap 5 saw Aiden lose 2nd to Gordon Shedden after a tight battle and Ash was having an issue and dropped backed to 6th.
As we passed halfway, Aiden then lost 3rd as pole sitter Dan Rowbottom came through in the Honda and then as Jake hill got a bit rough Aiden went down to 8th but Ash was able to get up to 5th in the action. Carl was having a great battle in the midfield and running in 17th.
As we moved into the last 4 laps, Ash was all over the back of Jake Hill and Aiden was looking great behind Chris Smilley. At the line, Ash was 5th and Aiden was 8th with Carl in 17th. This was a fantastic result for the team and the points tables and to add to that, title contender Colin Turkington was back in 22nd on the timing screen. This leaves Ash still top of the Championship, but only by 3 points from Tom Ingram in 2nd and 16 points ahead of Colin Turkington in 3rd. So it’s on to race 2 and we will see what the weather does.
Here we are mid-afternoon at Brands Hatch with 10 minutes to go to race 2 and the weather is currently just staying dry, although it is grey and cool out there with some slight rain in the air. Ash is starting 5th and Aiden 8th, so we are looking forward to see what we can do and with Carl improving with every session it is looking good…..as long as the rain stays off - but it might arrive during this race!
No rain at the start is a good sign and as the lights went out and Ash was immediately up to 3rd before the start of some rough stuff put him down to 5th and Aiden to 9th. After this bumping and boring Steven Jelley went off and a safety car was needed. This extended the race up to 27 laps.
The racing got back under way and everyone was queued up behind leader Tom Oliphant and on lap 11 there was rain on the windscreens! Ash was still 5th, Aidan was 10th and Carl 20th. With 10 laps to go Ash was up to 4th and Aiden to 9th with Carl still in 20th.
With Ash pushing hard to try and get 3rd, his title rival Tom Ingram was up into 2nd and it was all to play for. With no one willing to take any risks, the positions stayed the same as we came up to the last lap Ash went for the gap and was up to 3rd!! And then with 50 metres to go Ash took 2nd from the BMW. The question is, will the stewards look at Ingrams contact on Tom Oliphant to pass him? We’ll let you know!!
It’s the last race of the weekend and following the reverse grid draw we are set up for an immensely exciting battle. Aiden will start P4 with Ash in P11, one place ahead of title rival Tom Ingram in 12thwho escaped punishment for his contact in race 2. Carl will start in P20 and the team has both a great challenge and a great opportunity here. It’s still dry, but isn’t warm as we start the 24 lap race.
And we’re off! Aiden was immediately up to 3rd off the line and Ash was in 9th, with Carl up to 18th. On lap 2 Aiden did the fastest lap of the race so far and then took 2nd on lap 3 with his 15Kg of ballast.
Lap 6 saw Rory Butcher take Ash for 9th, but Ash was carrying 66Kg of ballast against Rory not having any. Aiden was still keeping pressure on Adam Morgan at the front whilst defending from Jack Goff who was immediately behind him.
On Lap 11, Jack Goff took Aiden for 2nd at Clearways as he ran just a fraction wide, but of course Goff has no ballast on board. Ash was still in 10th despite his maximum ballast and Carl was in 19th. Lap 15 then saw actual rain falling, but it wasn’t heavy at this stage.
With 5 laps to go, Aiden was getting real pressure from Jason Plato in 4th and the lap times were starting to go up as the rain started to reduce the grip. Ash was now trying to get past Chris Smiley – a familiar story this season and the rain continued to fall.
As we go onto the final lap Aiden was trying everything he could to keep Plato back and Plato nudged him going into clearways but Aiden it was who got 3rd by 12/1000 of a second. Ash was able to get 8th on the last lap and Carl Boardley was 19th.
The result of this was that with Tom Ingram finishing 12th, Ash retakes the Championship lead by 3 points on 116, with Tom Ingram on 113 and Josh Cook in 3rd on 90 points. Aiden said “I am delighted to get another podium and to get 2 top 10’s and a podium is real payback for the team and a thank you for putting up with me”.