TEAM EFFORT REWARDED WITH BRANDS PODIUM
Following their success at Donington Park in the opening rounds of the GT Cup, RAW Motorsports Steve Burgess and Ben Dimmack were looking for a repeat as they visited Brands Hatch last weekend in their Radical RXC.
After the mornings qualifying they were sixth quickest overall, but more importantly second in class, only 0.279 secs off the class pole position.
After Dimmack had some lappery in the earlier free practice, it was Burgess that set the qualifying time. “It was my first time on the Brands Hatch GP circuit for three years, and all was ok. It just took me a few laps to get up to speed,” he said.
From lights out for the first 50 minute race, Burgess was flying, and was quickly into fourth place on the opening lap, leading their class.
With cars off the safety car was soon in action too, but having been under slight pressure from John Dhillon’s Lamborghini, from the green flag, Burgess left his rival to go clear.
Only three full British GT spec were ahead and when Richard Neary’s Mercedes retired after eight laps, Burgess was then into third overall.
“It was going well, almost too well. I had good pace, but the tyres just started to go off. So I was determined to pull a gap before the pit stop window,” he explained.
He was the first to pit, still in a clear third. The stop went well and Dimmack headed down the pit lane to rejoin. “I didn’t even get as far as the end of the pit lane,” he added, after a broken driveshaft brought them a premature end to a very promising race.
There was about a three hour gap to repair the car before the second race, but the parts had to be sourced, which meant a mercy dash to the Radical factory.
The pit crew had the car stripped and ready for the new part. It arrived as the cars were already on the grid, “it was a blur of spanners and we missed getting onto the grid by seconds,” said crew chief Tim Shaw, so Burgess started the race, but from the pit lane.
With over 40 cars on the grid, it was far from easy, but he had already made six places by the end of the opening lap.
On lap four he picked off the class rival Ferrari of Paul Bailey and was into the top 20 and six laps later was chasing John Seale’s Lamborghini for second in class.
Hopes of further progress were then thwarted by a safety car period, quickly followed by the pit stop window. “It was interesting working my way through from the back, but then I was stuck behind Seale and the safety didn’t help,” said Burgess.
Once the stops had been completed, Dimmack was in 10th place, lying second in class behind Richard Chamberlain’s Porsche.
Gradually Abbie Eaton in the Seale Lamborghini began to close and with only time for five laps left on the clock, she was through to snatch 10th overall and second in class, from the Radical duo.
“We did what we could and I enjoyed it,” said Dimmack after settling in 11th overall and second in class, from 43 starters.
“A great all round team effort,” Burgess added, which no one could disagree with.
The next round of the Championship if June 5-6th at Snetterton.