Thunder Saloon Round 4 – Donnington Park
June 6th/7th 2015
After a Stressful meeting last time out at Castle Combe, we arrived at Donington Park fairly relaxed with nothing to do except clean the car and basic pre race checks. The paddock was very busy and there were lots of spectators already on the banks bright and early on Saturday morning ready to catch all the action of qualifying from the various championships, including the FIA European Superkart championship British GP, meaning we got to race on the GP circuit layout for this meeting. Exciting stuff!
Bradley started off strong , looking quick through the Craner curves. After about 6 laps we bought the car into the pitlane to check tyre temperatures and pressures, as Bradley was driving through the pits, he did not see the ridiculously high curb drops outside each pit garage and as the car drove down them it damaged the lower front splitter and bent the supporting struts, more repair work before race one. When we bought the car back over to the paddock Bradley said that the car felt lose through some of the bends, on inspection we discovered a loose camber nut on the offside rear semi trailing arm causing the rear geometry to change during cornering, this was an easy fix as was the front splitter damage. Bradley qualified 10th out of 20 with some close lap times covering the middle of the grid.
A very busy turn 1 meant that Bradley couldn’t make up any places at the start. Going into turn 6, the car in front lost control slightly meaning Bradley could close right up but as he was just about to get along side the driver gained control and shut the door on Bradley causing him to lose momentum exiting the corner and losing a position. The remainder of the race would see some close battles and a lot of defensive driving with Bradley holding off the very experienced Ilsa Cox in the BTCC Seat Leon to finish 10th.
Knowing that if he wanted to do well Bradley had to try and get in front of a couple of cars early on as he knew he was quicker than them through certain bends. Into the first turn Bradley managed to sneak up the inside and pass the Subaru of Ian Froggat and get along side the V8 Supercar of Andy Wilson going into the Craner curves mirror to mirror eventually getting in front of him before the old hairpin at turn 4. Great start. Bradley was gaining on the car in front when it pulled off a few laps in with mechanical problems. Having held off Ilsa cox in race 1, Bradley battled it out again running a little wide trying to defend and losing a position. For the remainder of the race Bradley had to try and hold off two extremely powerful cars which eventually managed to pass him just before the chequered flag, finishing 7th overall.
Great weekend , great racing. Onto Brands Hatch on the 25th July.