Two podiums, the fastest time in qualifying and two top finishes at Brands Hatch was the perfect start to Alex’s Braxx Racing Career.
The third round of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season was held last weekend at Brands Hatch in Kent, the first and only circuit this year at which Alex has previously raced.
“First” was to become the term which described Alex’s ‘American Speedfest’ weekend with his new team Braxx Racing.
It started with the first time he had driven the #90 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang stock car alongside his new Elite 1 teammates, legendary sportscar driver Marc Goossens and team owner-driver Jerry De Weerdt. Then, the first time he has topped the Elite 1 drivers in qualifying by posting the fastest time of 48.449 around the 1.208 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Amazingly, the top ten drivers were covered by just 0.319 of a second!
The next first was the first time he has contested the five minute Superpole session to determine pole position and then topping off the weekend with his first double podium finish of the year.
“Brands Hatch was the circuit where I started my car racing career back in 2014 when I contested the Ginetta Junior Championship as a support for the British Touring Car Championship. Back then, I remember thinking the crowd was massive but it was nothing compared to the reported 80,000 fans this weekend! Meeting a lot of them on the grid was great fun and I was pleased I could also return all their support with two podium finishes,” commented Alex.
Alex also contributed to making it a very successful weekend for Braxx, whose five drivers picked up seven podium positions and trophies with Alex, Marc and Jerry visiting the podium twice.
“Being part of the Braxx Team was a real honour and this weekend they really demonstrated why they are one of the top NWES teams. Racing with Jerry, Marc, Tom and Pedro was great fun and I can’t wait for the next rounds. The whole team is like one big family and so professional in what they do, I cannot thank them enough for being so welcoming, alongside all their help and support.” remarked Alex.
Saturday’s first Elite 1 race saw Alex line up in 9th place on the grid. As the 30 cars rumbled down the Brands Hatch start-finish straight for the rolling start, the Brands Hatch crowd were on their feet. As the lights changed green, the 30 cars all released their collective 12,000 bhp and raced into the notorious Paddock Hill Bend. As the cars fought for positions Alex slipped back to 10th place before regaining 9th on lap two, which he held until lap three when the safety car was called due to another car crashing out of the race. A great restart saw Alex move up to 6th place in his first clear lap, before the safety car was called once again. Alex gained 5th place on the restart which he held until three laps to go. At this point Alex was involved in a battle with Hezemans and Kumpen over 5th place and he tried a daring move around the outside at Druids hairpin. Alex managed to get alongside the 3rd place car of Hezemans as they entered the Druids corner, however, exiting the corner Alex was squeezed on to the grass by the 4th place car. With his car on the grass Alex had to back out of the move and dropped back to 8th place, which he then held to the chequered flag. A post race penalty, however, for one of the other drivers in front of Alex saw him move up to 7th place overall and 2nd Junior driver. His great drive saw his race end on the podium where he picked up the 2nd Junior trophy.
The 6th fastest lap time he set in the first race put Alex in 6th place on the grid for the start of the second race. A good start in the second race saw Alex hold his position as the cars raced into Graham Hill bend. As he exited the curve his cold BF Goodrich slick tyres on his Ford Mustang lost grip and he had to correct a big slide dropping him down to 7th place. Alex was not the only car to experience loss of grip as, further back, a multi car pile up resulted in the race being red flagged on lap two. The cars were stopped on the start-finish straight whilst the damaged cars where recovered from the track. After nearly 30 minutes the signal was given for the drivers to restart their engines.
“I was waiting on the grid and the mechanics had the slave battery connected to the car. When the signal was given to start the engine, I pressed the starter button but the engine would not turn over. Quick thinking by my mechanics Kurt and Kris got me back in the race as they pushed my car and I was able to bump start the engine and join the cars lining up for the rolling restart.” reflected Alex
A good restart saw Alex move back up to 6th place where a four car battle saw Alex swap places backwards and forwards numerous times over the next 20 laps before pulling away from the other cars and crossing the line in a well-deserved 6th place, less than a second behind Le Mans winner, Christophe Bouchut.
With another 2nd place Junior finish, Alex headed back to Victory Lane for the second time and brought to a close his first weekend with Braxx Racing.
Alex will next be in action in Tours, France for the only NWES oval race, the Oval World Challenge on the 29th June to 1st July.
You can find out how Alex gets on at the Oval World Challenge and in the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series via Twitter (@alexsedgwick9), or if you would like to find out more and get involved with Alex and the team, contact Alex via his web site www.alexsedgwickracing.com