David Dickenson: I couldn’t resist a return to the UK Clios!
November 5, 2012 by David Dickenson
Hi all, so as another season sadly draws to a close the BTCC and TOCA supports rolled into Brands Hatch for its tenth and final weekend- and what a weekend it was. I was driving in the Air Asia Clio cup for Team Pyro who I have been driving for in Italy for most of this season but when a space became available in the team to race in the last two weekends of the British series I couldn’t resist especially when one of the race weekends would take place at one of my favourite circuits the amazing Brands Hatch GP circuit.
The weekend started well on Friday morning in the first free practice session where I ended up third, three tenths off the fastest time in a tricky wet session. Free practice two was a bit of a joke with no less than five red flags meaning we didn’t get to set a proper time and we ended up fourteenth. As qualifying got underway on Saturday morning the circuit was still damp and slicks on the front and wets on the rear was the order of the day with the aim of still being on track and in one piece for the end of the session when track conditions would be at their best. The plan worked and we ended up fourth for race one and eighth for race two.
Race one got underway on Saturday afternoon and it was back to slicks all-round on the almost dry track. I managed to hold fourth place off the line and avoid any bumping into Paddock on lap one and things were looking good until we got to Sterling’s bend on lap one and I had a huge sideways moment. Iit’s never good when you’re looking out the side window on lap one with eighteen Clio Cup cars charging straight at you but somehow I managed to catch the slide and thanks to the ensuing carnage I caused even held on to fourth place!!. It all settled down after that I managed to get up to third place and have some great battles with reigning Clio champion Paul Rivet until his throttle broke and then Josh Cook who passed me at Graham Hill bend which left me fourth where I stayed until the chequered flag. Race two got underway in torrential conditions and starting eighth I knew that a clean first lap would be essential but contact in Paddock on lap one bent my steering and from there I was a sitting duck as my car pretty much refused to turn right meaning I fell down the order eventually finishing fourteenth. So all in all it was a pretty good weekend especially with all the Irish support that was in Brands all weekend and also seeing my mate Aron Smith take his first BTCC victory!