STRONG RACE PACE AT BRANDS HATCH FOR ADRIAN FLUX WITH POWER MAXED RACING
The third event of the delayed 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship saw Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing enjoy a consistent weekend, as drivers Jason Plato and Dan Lloyd brought home points in every round at Brands Hatch.
Despite a limited number of fans in attendance, the atmosphere at the Kent circuit buoyed the team, as hardcore BTCC enthusiasts lined the stands and bankings once again, hoping to catch a glimpse of the series’ infamous thrills and spills.
With the sun and Goodyear Blimp overhead on Saturday, luck would not be on the side of the Bidford-based squad during qualifying. In a particularly close session around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit, where the top 20 were separated by six-tenths of a second, a power-steering issue resulted in Plato taking 17th, while team-mate Lloyd would begin Sunday’s preliminary contest from 12th on the grid.
Sunday dawned slightly less summer-like than its predecessor, although any meaningful rain would hold off until the end of the day.
Race one started well, with Lloyd making up ground early in the session before a multi-lap battle with the Cupra of Jack Goff ensued. Narrowly missing out on a top ten place, the #123 Astra took 11th spot at the flag.
Slightly further back, Plato picked off the field ahead to take 13th, with his reward being a handful of points and a better spot on the grid for race two.
The second race of the day took place in conditions much the same as the first, and saw both drivers make up a considerable amount of ground, with Lloyd eventually claiming sixth and Plato eighth.
The pair both drove well during the final contest, with Plato spending most of his race battling the rear-wheel drive Infiniti of Aiden Moffat. In the end, the 53-year-old had to settle for fourth, as a last-ditch attempt on the finish straight saw him side-by-side with the Scot, missing out on his second podium of the year by just 12 hundredths of a second.
Lloyd had a similarly great race, holding off the advances of the Honda Civic of former PMR driver Senna Proctor to hold on to ninth, bagging a strong points haul in the process.
“Although the end result was ok, it’s been frustrating,” reflected Plato. “We’ve just been fighting our way back from a power steering issue in Qualifying. We should’ve been sixth on the grid really. It’s a completely different weekend and I genuinely think we would’ve been up on that podium a couple of times had that not happened.
“Once you get to the front there’s a good rhythm, and I’m fast when we get that rhythm, but when you’re in the mid-pack it’s just bedlam. We’re making changes though, and finding our groove, and now we’re in the mix and fighting as we should be.”
“Overall it’s a really positive weekend for me,” added Lloyd. “We’ve taken big steps forward with the car. It’s always a struggle testing throughout race weekends, and we’ve been making some massive changes, so credit to Martin [Broadhurst] and the team, because the changes they’ve made have helped massively. I feel like we had some good solid races, although I’m not where I really want to be yet, but I feel like the upcoming test at Oulton Park is going to help us massively.”
“Ultimately Qualifying was frustrating, and that put us on the back foot come race day,” said Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager. “The majority of the grid are so close that unless you get a spot at the front, it’s really hard to move forward. The race pace of both Dan and Jason was as we’d expect it to be, thanks to some changes we’ve made with the car that have taken us in the right direction. We’ve got the tyre test coming up next week at Oulton Park, which will give us some time to try out what we think will work for the next event.”
“Obviously it’s frustrating that we didn’t come away with more silverware,” concluded Team Principal Adam Weaver. “The team worked really hard to make changes to the cars that have taken us in the right direction, and I think that showed during the racing. I’m feeling positive about the year. As we’re only one-third of the way in, and I think that if we can get the cars nailed for Qualifying we’ll be banging on the door of the title by our next visit to Brands Hatch at the end of the year.”