Team HARD reflect on race day at Brands Hatch
Last weekend (6/7 May), the Team HARD squad had a strong showing at their home race circuit of Brands Hatch, with the outstanding high being Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils’ Bobby Thompson, who secured his career best finish in the BTCC by taking second place during Round 6.
Here is what the Team HARD, drivers had to say…
Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils
Bobby Thompson said: “Honestly, I’m so happy with this weekend, not only for the results but also to show what the Cupra can do. We have the car in a great window at the moment, and we are finally able to show everyone what we have been working on and developing over the past couple of seasons.
“I’m hoping we can keep the car in this form for the rest of the season and consistently compete inside the top ten race after race and pick up some podiums along the way. The team deserve it for all their hard work and dedication to the operation so far this season – to mix it with the manufacturer teams like we did was a real statement. It was great to do it at Brands Hatch as well, as it’s both mine and the team’s home race. We had lots of partners, family and friends with us over the course of the weekend and for all of them to join us in our most competitive weekend to date was amazing.
“Thank you to everyone for their support, and long may this form continue.”
Dan Lloyd said: “Overall I think the race weekend was really positive after scoring points in all three races and getting ourselves into Q2 for the first time this season.
“Bobby did a mega job all weekend as well and we’re leading the Independent teams’ championship, which is really positive for just the second round of the season. Especially considering our lack of testing. I can only see our performances getting stronger as the season progresses.
“From my side, we made some big steps forward, we’ve got a lot of information from all the dry running on Sunday, so we need to go away and go through all of that and come back stronger for Snetterton. I want to start getting right into the top 10 in the next round, and I think we are starting to get the platform that will enable us to do that.”
Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD.
Dexter Patterson said: “It was nice to get a point in the last race to come away from Brands Hatch with something. We showed decent pace on Saturday in the wet, but we struggled on race day with the balance of the car and often found ourselves dropping back.
“We have lots to work on between now and Snetterton to make sure that we can compete inside that top 15 and bank as many points as possible.”
Jade Edwards said: “Despite encountering some power issues in the first two races, I’m pleased with the progress we made as a team during the latest round of the BTCC at Brands Hatch.
“Qualifying in 19th was a positive outcome given the challenging car build and weather conditions, and I was looking forward to moving up the grid during the three races. The start in the third race felt fantastic, and I was confident as I moved forward on lap one and two. Unfortunately, contact with another car ended our chance to see the full potential of the car over a race distance, but I’m still optimistic about the progress we made over the weekend.
“I’d like to give a final shout-out to the hard-working team at Team Hard Racing who continue to strive for improvement each weekend, as well as congratulating my teammate Bobby on his impressive podium finish in the third race.”
Go Fix with Autoaid Breakdown
Jack Butel said: “Starting 13th was great, and I felt like I belonged there after a good qualifying session. We got a really good start, and we held our own, but as the red flag came out for the massive accident at the end of the opening lap, we had to do it all over again.
“The second start didn’t go as well, and despite a good launch, I think we had taken most of the life out of the soft tyre on that first lap, so we struggled to make up ground. We held our own in 14th, which I was fine with, but we soon developed an issue that relegated me to 18th as I just didn’t have the speed to defend from the cars behind.
“In race 2, we developed another issue as we were making our way to the grid. The car just cut out, and by the time we located the issue, we had to start from the pit lane, which is never ideal on such a short lap.
“Race 3 was a lot better, and we ended up in 17th, which I’m happy about as we came from much further back. It’s a shame for the team that issues out of their control hindered our race day. They’ve done an amazing job, the chassis is great, and once we get these other issues sorted, we will be mixing it up at the front more often and taking the fight to the top 10.”
Nic Hamilton said: “I had an up and down day on race day. I had really good pace at the start of all three races and was able to keep up with the drivers in front of me and be in the fight. However, we seemed to drop off a lot quicker, around lap 8. I’m not sure whether that is due to some of the modifications we have made in the past couple of weeks or just myself in general.
“Overall, I have to be happy with race day; it was just a bit of an eye-opener that we need to find a bit more time during the races, but generally, I’m really happy with the car. It feels good, I like the balance, I just need to be able to extract more time out of it. But it’s only round 2, and I’ve got lots of work that I’m going to do with the team to minimise the disadvantage I have with my legs.
“We are getting closer and closer to everyone else, and we are only a couple of tenths away from achieving our goal of running consistently inside the top 20. We finished race three in 19th, which was great, but looking forward to the rest of the season and achieving this more frequently.”