Round 3 - Brands Hatch Indy - Race Report

All drivers arrived at the track on Friday for the pre-race practice day. After a successful day of testing, the drivers and mechanics were all feeling confident in both the cars. Team manager Graham Horgan was hoping for a top 10 finish for Warren McKinlay and James Hill, who were driving car 312 and a top 20 finish for Tony Williams and Andy Searle, driving car 158. 

This weekend was not only for racing, but to celebrate both Andy and Tony’s Alive Day. A day to celebrate the anniversary of when their lives changed forever. This weekend marks the 7th anniversary since Tony came under attack and the 6th anniversary since Andy was blown up after standing on an IED. 

Tony said “This weekend has a huge significance to me, it’s not just about racing. This marks the 7th anniversary since I came under attack out in Afghanistan, where I sustained life changing injuries. There was a small chance I would ever be able to walk again, let alone become a race car driver.”

Andy said “It’s been six years since I was blown up and lost my legs. I thought my life was over, I didn’t think I’d be able to drive again, let alone drive at a highly competitive level as a racing car driver. I’m so thankful for Team BRIT and the opportunities, it is great to be doing what I love on my alive day.”

The Fun Cup’s random grid selection for the afternoon’s 4-hour endurance race saw car 158 start 4th on the grid with car 312 starting in 13th place. 

During the first lap of the race an incident caused a safety car being deployed to regulate the field. To avoid becoming involved in the incident, Tony, in car 158, made some quick decisions but unfortunately dropped down the grid to 23rdplace. 

After a successful start to the race, car 312, driven by Warren and James, climbed the grid. As it was the pair’s first visit to Brands Hatch, their lack of knowledge of the track meant that they dropped back to 21st place. 

As the race progressed, Warren and James’ consistency improved and they climbed their way back up the grid. 

Warren added “We started the race in 13th but dropped down the grid to 21st due to our limited knowledge of the track and the racing line. As we got more acquainted with the track, our lap times improved and we starting climbing our way up the grid slowly.”

Team 158’s consistency also became better as the 4-hour endurance race progressed. Andy and Tony’s fighting spirit and brilliant team work saw them hold their 23rd position for a long duration of the race.

With only 40 minutes to go and the driver changes all completed, car 312 was unable to leave the pits due to a mechanical issue. The team worked quickly to get the car running and back on the track again. 

James returned to the track having lost a few laps but his fantastic performance and determination saw him climb back up the grid. 

On the final lap of the race, James was sat in 24th place, behind Andy. James’ competitive nature saw him overtake his team mate moments before the chequered flag was waved to steal 23rd place.

He added “The mechanical issue we experienced just made me more determined to do well. I didn’t mean to overtake my team mate to finish higher but I had the pace to do so. It was a great weekend at a great track. I can’t wait to return and race here again!”

The team return to the track on the 8th and 9th July for the international leg of the championship. The round will be a 25-hour race at the renowned Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.