Alex made a positive start in his first car race at Brands Hatch last weekend.
The legendary Brands Hatch circuit provided a perfect backdrop for Alex’s first car race. Alex’s race weekend kicked off with free practice on Friday with two 30 minute sessions to quickly learn the fastest way around the circuit. At the end of the first session, he set the 11th fastest time. A few adjustments were made to the car before the second session which resulted in the seventh fastest time of the day, just over half a second off the provisional pole position.
Saturday saw Alex enter official qualifying in a strong position. Now he needed to set two fast lap times as his first time would decide his starting position in the first race later in the day, and the second the race on Sunday.
At the end of the 15 minute qualifying session Alex set the 7th and 6th fastest times, of the 20 competing drivers. This meant he would start his first race off the fourth row of the grid, and the third row and sixth position for the televised race on Sunday.
A good strong start saw Alex complete the first lap in his first race in 7th place which he maintained for several laps until a car spun in front of him and he had to take avoiding action. Re-joining the race back in 16th place and 12 seconds behind the leaders, he fought back lap by lap to finally cross the finishing line at the end of the 14 laps in 12th position just one second behind the cars in front of him. Disappointed, but proud to have completed his first race, Alex now had to focus on the second race on Sunday to improve his results.
Alex said “It was exciting racing for the first time and especially with all the BTCC fans watching around the circuit. It was unfortunate the car spun in front of me. When I re-joined, I pushed as hard as I could to try to regain my original position and had just caught up the cars in front as the chequered flag went out.”
For the second 14 lap race on Sunday, Alex lined up on the third row of the grid in front of the tens of thousands of fans who had travelled to Brands Hatch to watch the first round of the BTCC. With the eyes of all the fans and the television cameras focused on the grid, Alex made a fantastic start but the two cars in front of him moved across and hit his car, luckily he was able to keep on the track as the other cars crashed heavily bringing out the safety car, before the cars had even made the first corner. At the restart, Alex held a comfortable 6th place in the leading group.
Some fantastic racing saw the lead cars change places numerous times. With just two laps remaining, a rash move from one of the other cars resulted in major damage to the rear of Alex’s car. The damage this time was terminal and Alex had to retire from the race as the rear of the car started to catch fire and the car filled with smoke and fumes. “Retiring from the race in a smoke filled car was not what I planned for me, MIS Motorsport or Carlube, my sponsors. Even so, it has been a very positive start to my car racing career and I have learnt a lot. I cannot wait now until the next race at Donington in April.”