The Time Attack Championship heads to Brands Hatch for a double header weekend!
“So here it is, the first double header of the 2021 Time Attack Championship. It feels a long time since the opening round back at the beginning of May. Changes to Covid regulations meant a limited number of fans could now attend. It’s great to finally have a crowd and is one of the first steps to getting back to normality”.
There was not much to do after Round 1, with the wet weather limiting running time during an event that was ultimately cut short. The main task was to get the car back into it’s dry set up and perform the standard checks ready for the double header.
As always, the plan during warm up is to perform a general shake down without ever pushing the car in anger, getting a feel for the circuit and grip levels. What was immediately noticeable was the amount of traffic to contend with. With over 30 cars jostling for space getting a clean lap in when it counted was not going to be easy.
However, the car felt excellent. Very responsive, behaving exactly how Jonny likes it! Providing the Team with confidence heading into the next three sessions. Jonny wrapped up warm up with a time of 56.724 seconds.
After warm up we made a few adjustment to the cars new Aim Solo 2 data logger which proved to be an invaluable investment as the weekend progressed! It also gave us a chance to check fuel levels which had been wired into the dash between rounds.
The logger was working as expected allowing us to work out precise fuel levels prior to hot laps. Allowing us to keep weight to an absolute minimum. With the session underway, Jonny used the time on track to figure out a plan for managing traffic.
The first test was to go flat out from the off, making space by overtaking cars. The second method was to judge cool down laps allowing gaps to form ahead, this method seemed to work, although it didn’t amount to any improvement in in lap time. Jonny ended the session clocking a 54.900 laptime with more still left in his pocket.
Now it was time for the serious business. Using all the information gathered in the morning sessions, it was now time to put it into action, making the most of the 15 minutes available. After a couple of warm up laps Jonny moved on to his first ‘hot lap of the day in an attempt to maximize the point on offer.
Traffic was still proving to be a huge issue, with Jonny struggling to get a clean lap in. At time it felt like door o door circuit racing rather than Time Attack. Finally, on lap 15 of 15 Jonny broke into the 53’s with a 53.808 despite lsoing half a second in the final sector after being held up by another car.
That lap time was enough for 5th in class providing Jonny with a single championship point. They all count though come the end of the season!
With a splash of fuel, just enough to make it through the session, it was time to strap in. Knowing how bad traffic would be Jonny was out of the blocks fast. Initially setting a banker lap of 54.292 not the quickest but good to have in the bag.
Frustratingly this was the quickest we could achieve, simply down to the sheer amount of cars on track. It was nearly impossible to get a clear run in. This time was enough for 6th and a few more championship points.
Speaking to other drivers they where all complaining of the same issue so Jonny wasn’t alone. With the pace to battle for a podium we did take some positives heading into Sunday for Round 3.