With a wet start to the day on Sunday 7th July, the damp track was an unwelcome sight for both Scot and Ollie, having both practiced in dry conditions on the previous Friday. Tensions were high as the cars lined up for qualifying, however this time there were only 14 cars on the grid rather than the usual 15. The Chester car had taken a knock the day before, when they had attempted to squeeze in extra practice by taking to the grid with the Porsche 911 Class 2 cars, and it wasn’t race-ready in-time to enter qualifying.
The missing Chester Boxster was a reminder of the challenge that lay ahead, with the safety car having made an appearance at over half of the Restoracing races so far, the drivers knew the damp track could cause them issues. With less cars on the grid than the previous races at Brands Hatch, and the shorter Indy circuit this time around, the anticipation for the day’s races was high.
As qualifying started, Nottingham was the first to fall foul of the wet surface and span at the first corner. However, in an impressive manoeuvre, he managed to save the Boxster at the last second and drove out of the spin with no contact with any other cars! Porsche Centre Bournemouth were again setting down fast laps early on and leading the way.
Ollie in our Swindon Coca-Cola Boxster was driving brilliantly as he sliced seconds off of his lap times, going from 59.95 down to 56.1 on his fastest lap - only 0.6 seconds behind Bournemouth in first place. The competition was fierce on the day and Ollie had managed to climb up to as high as 3rd place, but unfortunately couldn’t fend off Wally’s Jeans, the Pink Pig and Premier Panel’s car, and had to settle for 4th position on the grid.
Scot’s confidence in our Fletcher Aviation inspired Cardiff Boxster was growing ever greater as this was now his second qualifying session on the Brands Hatch track. In the beginning, Scot was averaging just over a minute to get around the Indy circuit, but as his confidence in the tricky conditions grew, he climbed to 9th place with a fastest lap of 59.2 seconds. With a quick pit stop to adjust the tyre pressures, Scot re-entered the track and was now sitting in 11th place for qualifying, but a further stop to analyse why the back end of the car was stepping out on the corners left Scot in 13th position on the gird. However, the kinks in the car were now worked out in time for the races, and Scot was hopeful of some good results.
With the race start-time drawing nearer, the sun had made a welcome return and the track was now almost completely dry following the morning’s wet weather. As the race got underway, the Boxsters on rows 2 and 3 all made lightning starts compared to the front row, and as too many cars tried to squeeze into the same piece of tarmac going into Paddock Hill bend, the Swindon Coca-Cola Boxster unfortunately took a hit.
Swindon’s Boxster collided with Hatfield’s Boxster, and then made contact with the wall, resulting in a broken suspension arm which put Ollie out of the race. Luckily, Ollie emerged from the car unscathed, albeit deflated as it became clear that he would not be able to take part in the second race of the day owing to the damage.
The safety car made its first appearance of the day whilst the Swindon Boxster was lifted off the track. When normal racing resumed, Nottingham were still having trouble keeping their car facing the right direction and span again, this time re-entering the race directly in front of Cardiff’s car which slowed Scot up.
Positioned at the back of the pack, Scot kept his cool as Glasgow made a failed attempt to gain a few places, ending up with them taking a trip through the gravel trap, bringing a cloud of dust with them! Scot slipped through the dust and narrowly avoided Glasgow as they re-entered the track. Following their trip through the gravel, Glasgow were unable to continue as their wheels had suffered damage as a result, and they pulled off the track as the race resumed.
Scot was moving quickly, but the gap between him and the Chester car in-front was growing. Chester started the race in P.15 after missing qualifying, but had skipped ahead of Scot during the confusion at Paddock Hill bend at the beginning of the race. The Pink Pig and Wally’s Jeans continued to battle for 2nd and 3rd, whilst the Shoreade and Hatfield cars span out creating another dust cloud which meant the safety car was out once again.
As the race drew to a close, Cardiff’s steady approach had been a great tactic again and resulted in them finishing in P.11.
The weather for the second race was much brighter, and after a grid walk with the 911 Class 2 cars, the drivers were excited to get back into their racing seats!
Scot started in 12th, but was down to 13th on the turn into Druids. Glasgow were struggling to keep-up with the main pack after their car had hit the gravel trap in race 1, so Scot knew he needed to fend off the Scottish competitor.
Up ahead, the Pink Pig continued his battle with Wally’s Jeans for 3rd and 4th place. The Premier Panel car driven by Matt Bird from Pistonheads was giving the usually unchallenged Bournemouth car in the hands of Ben McLoughlin a run for his money.
The first few laps of racing were relatively tame compared to previous races, but the safety car was poised to go out… just in case.
In the middle of the pack, Silverstone’s Gulf and Wilmslow’s Salzberg Boxsters were racing neck and neck with the Shoreade Rothman’s Boxster. The scrabble for positions left Shoreade and Wilmslow in a spin, and Scot gained two places.
The Pink Pig ran into problems when his radiator blew up, leading to a shock exit for the Wolverhampton car and coolant on the track for the other cars to dodge. Before the safety car could get out to enable the coolant to be cleaned up, the Bournemouth car overshot a bend and upon re-entering the track brought a lot gravel with him to add to the growing list of hazards on track.
Scot was in 10th with 17 minutes to go as the safety car came out to allow the marshals to clear up the debris left behind by Bournemouth and Wolverhampton. Matt Bird in the Premier Panels car was doing well to keep 1st place, and with the Pink Pig out of action and Ben still dropping gravel from his wheels, it was the writer from Pistonheads race to win!
The race resumed with 9 minutes to go, and Scot needed to try and hang-on to secure his first top-10 finish. Immediately under pressure from Shorade and Wilmslow who were desperately trying to make up the ground they had lost, Scot slipped back into 12th.
At the front of the pack, Ben McLoughlin and Matt Bird both produced their fastest laps as Ben tried to catch Matt and maintain his winning streak. The gap between 1st and 2nd place was just too big however, and Bournemouth had to relinquish their undefeated title, with the Premier Panels car taking 1st place.
Scot managed to keep the interests of the Glasgow car at bay and finished in 12th place after an eventful race.
The series has been full of thrilling action from both Donnington Park and Brands Hatch, but the drivers will face a new track on Saturday 27th July when the series travels to Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk.
Swindon are already hard-at-work repairing the suspension on their Coca-Cola Boxster and looking forward to making a comeback in just under 3 weeks time.
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