The Action Packed Triple header at Brands Hatch Indy.
The Action Packed Triple header at Brands Hatch Indy.
This weekend saw rounds five, six and seven of the TCR- UK Championship held at the Kent circuit; Brands Hatch Indy. With the biggest grid line up this season with twenty-three cars, the weekend was sure to host sensational racing around the 1.208 mile track. The Power Maxed Racing drivers; Constable #257, Joyce #72, Newsham #16 and Wallis #52 all arrived fired up on the scorching Friday, ready for the triple headed after a three week break between rounds.
On the clear blue skied Saturday morning the free practice took place, and all drivers began to warm up their tyres returning to pits for crossover changes. The rest of the session the drivers were testing and hitting best lap times. By the end of the twenty minute session within the top fourteen drivers, there was only one second difference in the best lap times. Our BTCC Development driver Constable #257 finished in P.3 with an incredible lap time of 49.165. Followed by Newsham #16 in P.8, Wallis #52 in P.19 and unfortunately for Joyce #72 he would miss some of the session following a minor excursion into the gravel.
Later that afternoon we saw the pitlane roaring ready for the qualifying session. The thirty-minute session saw all the Power Maxed racing drivers out including Joyce #72 as the mechanics had worked hard all morning to repair the car.
Most of the fastest laps were secured later in the session however Constable #257 showing us on lap six his quickest lap which was a 49.231 resulting in him finishing P.13. Newsham #16 completed an amazing lap of 48.907 on lap eighteen finishing P.4 and Joyce #72 securing P.17 with a 49.415. Again the fight for best lap being so competitive with the top twenty drivers within one second of each other. Wallis #52 unfortunately had an engine gremlin during the session, which resulted in stopping his session after fourteen laps, which lead to him finishing in P.22 with a fastest lap time 50.352 on lap five.
Saturday early evening held round five of the TCR – UK championship, race one of the weekend. The grid filled with all twenty- three drivers, including Wallis after the quick repair to the engine. All the fans and teams excited for the nineteen lap drizzly race. The rain had decided to join the paddock adding an extra element for drivers and teams to consider. Lights out and the action began, it didn’t take long before the action resulted into a red flag unfortunately affecting our driver Wallis #52 resulted in him no longer being able to race. Once the green flags were waved again the race didn’t disappoint with Newsham #16 having a show stopper of a race, he finished in P.3 and collected the fastest lap which was a 52.627 completed on lap thirteen. Constable had the drive of the day coming home in P7 after starting the race from the pit lane and Joyce #72 finished P.12 and winning the diamond championship trophy.
The morning of Father’s day 19th June saw the circuit fill up with thousands of fans, the ques for the car park had started forming as the teams were arriving so Power Maxed racing knew it would be a busy day and circuit.
Round six, race two of the weekend started mid-morning and luckily the weather was on our side; bright blue clear skies embellished over the paddock and the start finish line. The thirty lap race saw Constable #257 drive beautifully showing us all his talent and knowledge, starting in P.4 and very quickly leading the race with a 1.7 gap which resulted in crossing the finish line in P.1 with a best lap time of 49.634. Newsham #16 secured a faster lap time of 49.342 however due to traffic finished in P.6 and Wallis #52 started in P.21 made up six positions and finished in P.15 with a best lap of 50.287. Joyce #72 again winning the diamond championship trophy and finishing P.9 with a best lap time of 49.609. All four cars completing the race with no damage and no DNFs, resulted in a happy team heading into race 3; round seven of the TCR_UK Championship.
With the additional race this weekend the starting grid was taken from the second fastest qualifying time set the day before which meant a few drivers who had done really well in race two earlier on the Sunday had to shuffle back down to the position they secured previously.
The grid line up for the Power Maxed Racing drivers were; Newsham #16 in P.4, Constable #257 in P.12, Joyce #72 in P.18 and Wallis #52 in P22. The lights went out and not even thirty seconds later the red flag was waved due to an unfortunate incident with Joyce #72 meaning he was out of the race. After the car was rescued from track the race was restarted, lights out and more unfortune hit the Power Maxed racing team, resulting in Constable #257 finishing the race in the gravel following contact from behind, having to DNF. Within ten minutes the team was two drivers down however Newsham #16 and Wallis #52 were still battling through the pack.
Newsham #16 was also in the wars after being hit off the track in the first lap putting him from fourth to last, he then mounted a challenge with a great drive seeing him finish P11 at the end with a best lap time of 49.684, and fantastically Wallis #52 finished in P.16 with super quick reflexes avoiding the first incident involving Joyce.
Overall the weekend was a positive one, collecting points and silverware on both days. The team will work hard to get the cars repaired and ready for the next round, which is returning back to Oulton Park, however on the Island circuit on Saturday 16th July.
Martin Broadhurst, Team manager: “The weekend showed the Power Maxed drivers had great pace in a very competitive championship and it was amazing to see some of them on the podium. Very unfortunate finish to the weekend but that’s racing. We will rebuild ready for Oulton in the next few weeks.”
Russell Joyce #72: “I was very excited to be going to my home circuit Brands Hatch. Moving into the weekend we know the changeable weather condition would be challenging and lead to some exciting racing. We had found pace in both wet and dry conditions and with under a second separating the top 20 position every tenth would count. I’m delighted with my progress and the confidence the team have given me, which has moved me up to challenging the top 10. Unfortunately, an unavoidable racing incident in race 3 saw me DNF for the first time this year however this was eclipsed by taking the class wins in the diamond championship in both race 1 and 2. I’m looking forward to Oulton and confident that we can continue moving up the grid.”
Callum Newsham #16: “It was a weekend to just get back into the grove for me after missing the last meeting but testing on Friday went way better than I thought I was on the pace straight away, we qualified p4 for race 1 and finished p3 with great pace all weekend just unfortunate driving standards hampered us in the Sunday races but all in all it was very positive weekend with lots of points scored.”
Jac Constable #257: " Although we didn't have the pace in qualifying to put the car where it deserved to be I'm proud of us as a team to come away with the results we did. Race one was a strange one, where the clutch completely failed on the grid but lucky enough for us the team managed to get it bleed through before the complete restart. This gave me a strong chance to fight my way through from the pit lane. Finishing P.7. Race two a great result for us and was all about patience I am so happy to come away with our first win of the season even though I have been struggling with a chest infection. Race three was an utter disappointment but nothing we could do with contact made from the rear and being pushed into the gravel that was it. All in all, a great weekend with some decent results! Can't thank the guys a PMR enough they really kept me going this weekend!"
Chris Wallis #52: "The testing on Friday was successful but hot with temperatures inside the car well in excess of 45 degrees. We made changes to the set-up which definitely improved the handling and so I feel we have made progress and found a baseline from which we can build. Qualifying on Saturday was cut short for us, only lasting 10 minutes as we lost oil pressure with a split hose and so we had to return to the paddock to repair this in time for the afternoons race. As always the team did amazing in fixing the car and in particular I need to thank James Hone for the effort he always puts in for me. For me the racing is always about being as competitive as I can be, but enjoying it too is what makes it all worthwhile and the PMR guys and girls are a major part of that. The race lasted less then one lap as the rain fell and I got tagged at the rear spinning me in to the gravel at Clearways which saw the end of my race. Races 2 and 3 on Sunday were both good all be it uneventful for me. We finished both with little or no damage in what were otherwise races packed with action, and were able to make some additional small adjustments making the car a little better. I personally have more development to achieve, but I am committed to that and we are definitely narrowing the gap. This year was always going to be about developing the car and myself having been away from racing on four wheels for as long as we have and so I always look for the positives!"