Oliver Bryant Racing

07946 524 941 info@oliverbryant.com
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12th July 2008

Rounds 11 & 12 Brands Hatch GP 12/13th July 2008

Brands Hatch started off well for Oliver who recorded the second fastest time in practice on Saturday morning with a 1m30.585s lap. Steve Clarke then qualified the car for Saturday’s race in P6 with his fastest lap of the weekend, a 1m31.542s. Oliver then engaged in an excellent fight for pole position with Allen Simonsen in the Ferrari F430. Oliver initially got pole, then Allen took it back on the following lap. Oliver then claimed pole with the first sub 1.30 lap time by a GT3 car on Avons around the Brands GP circuit with a 1m29.939. However this was then beaten by 22 thousandths of a second and Simonsen took pole with a 1m29.917s lap. Oliver’s lap time was 0.6s quicker than the next fastest Viper in P3 and he lined up on the front row in P2.

Race 1

Steve made an excellent start and held his position well moving up the order as others dropped out. When Steve pitted and handed over, Oliver rejoined and quickly found himself in 3rd place, catching the Ferrari of Michael Cullen and the Viper of Jon Barnes. Oliver was lapping up to 2 seconds per lap quicker than these cars and quickly caught up to them. Unfortunately, Michael then defended very aggressively and this battled slowed them both and allowed the leading Viper to pull away. Oliver tried to pass the Ferrari left right and center but kept getting squeezed onto the grass at high speed. This battle slowed Oliver from 1m32s laps to 1m35’s and dropped them into the pack behind. With Guy Harrington in the Lamborghini closing in, Oliver tried to pass the Ferrari into paddock but ran wide allowing the Lamborghini to get through.

Oliver quickly reasserted himself into P3 and was instantly back on the tail of the Ferrari. Allen Simonsen was catching up fast and passed Oliver as he dropped a wheel onto the grass at Graham Hill bend. Oliver then followed Simonsen in pursuit of Cullen and they both made there way past on the run out of Clearways to the finish line. Oliver was 1 tenth ahead of P4 and 1 thousandth off P2. Third and a podium was a good result for Oliver and Steve but had the Ferrari not been so wide, Oliver had the pace to pass the leading Trimite Viper and claim the win.

Race 2

Oliver started from the front row for the first time this season and as he was on the outside, had a difficult job to do into the first corner. With the Trimite Viper in his blind spot, Oliver hesitated whilst turning into paddock and this allowed the Viper through dropping Oliver to 3rd. He settled into this position and soon began to challenge the Trimite Viper for second position. The first 3 cars were pulling away and dropping the rest of the field behind.

Unfortunately for Oliver, the rear diffuser had worked loose and had began flapping on the road from the start. The car’s performance was unaffected but the officials soon issued the car with a black and orange (mechanical failure) flag. This had to be obeyed and on lap 9, Oliver pitted for repairs, which dropped the car a lap and any chance of a result was lost. Oliver rejoined the race and was immediately the fastest on track but as he was a lap down, this was irrelevant. Steve then took over the car and he drove brilliantly to bring the car home in 8th place.

Oliver and Steve clearly had the pace for some excellent results at Brands Hatch but unfortunately mechanical problems blighted their chance for a win on Sunday’s race.