Jay Daniels headed to Brands Hatch, located in Kent, for his second race weekend with the Race Car Consultants team in the BRSCC Quaife Fiesta Championship on Thursday 20th October. His race weekend started on the Friday as he took part in four half hour long practice sessions around the famous Indy circuit. Jay had never been to the Kent based circuit to compete or even spectate ahead of the race weekend.

During the first test session Jay spun once at Paddock Hill just after leaving the pits on cold tyres but was lucky enough not to end up in the gravel trap. He also had a spin at Surtees a few laps later as he was beginning to learn the circuit and how far to push the car. Considering he had never driven the circuit before Jay did well during the first session to only spin twice throughout the thirty-minute session. He also managed to get his lap times down to just under a minute by the end of the session.

A few hours later it was time for the second test session, this time Jay did much better as he managed to post more lap times of under a minute. His best lap time during the session was a 59.09. during this thirty-minute session he did not have any spins. Session three took place a few hours afterwards, Jay had one spin at Surtees during the session but began finding more time as he learnt the circuit better lap by lap. He went quicker than he had in session two but knew there was still more time to find before qualifying on Saturday.

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Photo Credit: Tilley Photography.

The fourth practice session took place late on Friday. During this session Jay did not have any spins whatsoever, he went on to find more time to improve his lap times. Overall throughout the day Jay did well to go out and learn the circuit on his own and only have three spins in total as well as finding quite a bit of time to improve his lap times during the day. This certainly built a bit of confidence for Jay as he was becoming more confident and comfortable driving the circuit.

On Saturday morning at 11:25 it was time for the  BRSCC Quaife Fiesta Championship Class C cars to head out onto the Indy circuit for the final practice session ahead of qualifying later in the day. Jay completed twelve lap times during the session where his transponder was not working properly. His best lap time set was a 57.741. There was still more time for Jay to find but he was not too far off the top pace, just 2.122 seconds. Jay finished the session in thirteenth place out of twenty cars. He had one spin early in the session at Graham Hill Bend but re-joined and carried on in the session.

Qualifying took place at 16:09, Jay’s quickest time was a 57.285 which put him sixteenth on the grid for race one. He completed a total of twenty laps during the session, setting his fastest lap on lap seventeen. His second fastest lap was a 57.360 which put him sixteenth on the grid for race two of the weekend. His second fastest lap was set on lap twelve of the session.

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Photo Credit: Tilley Photography.

Race one took place at 12:25 on Sunday, Jay started in sixteenth alongside Richard Dawson. Unfortunately, Jay did not get a good start as he suffered some wheel spin which allowed all the cars who started behind him get past off the start. Within a lap and a half of the race Jay had already got back past Dana Freeman, David Pugh and Jason Powell. Late in the race Ryan Faulconbridge spun as he entered Paddock Hill bend, allowing Jay to take advantage and gain another position. During the final few laps of the race Dan Turner was handed a five second penalty for disrespecting track limits, this moved Jay up into finishing thirteenth for the opening race of the weekend.

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Photo Credit: Tilley Photography.

Race two started at 15:57 on Sunday afternoon, once again Jay lined up in sixteenth alongside Richard Dawson. This time Jay got a better start but was a little slow off the line, however this time he did not drop right back instead he stood his ground. On lap one of the race Richard Dawson went off the circuit, causing a section of the circuit to be under yellow flags so that the marshals could move the car without bringing out the safety car. On the second lap of the race Alfonso Skriczka had to retire from the race due to a wheel bearing collapsing. This promoting Jay up into fourteenth already during the race. He was having a good battle with Tim Glover and Joshua Watkins, Glover passed Watkins which saw Jay chasing Watkins for thirteenth. Jay caught up and made the move to pass on lap eight of the race, as he dived up the inside Watkins moved across to attempt to block Jay passing but he was already there, causing the two to make contact, Watkins having to retire instantly at Clearways.  Jay managed to continue going after receiving a whack from Watkins on the drivers side. He finished the race to take another thirteenth place with a slightly damaged car.

Overall it was a pretty positive and successful weekend for Jay Daniels at a circuit he had never driven before Friday morning. The whole Race Car Consultants team and all of Jay’s family and friends were extremely proud of the way he conducted himself and drove throughout the whole weekend.

 

©Fay Tilley 27th October 2016.

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