David Pittard’s #TrackTalk: Brands Hatch Indy


After a long, wet, largely racing free winter the TOCA package roars back into life this weekend on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, the British Touring Car Championship headlining with the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, British Formula Ford Championship, Renault Clio Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Ginetta Juniors packing out the Kent track for the weekend.

In the first in a season of features from KX Akademy driver – and Ginetta GT4 Supercup rookie – David Pittard he talks his way through the key features of the 1.2 mile circuit.

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History

The circuit’s origins go back to off-road motorcycle racing in the 1930s and 40s before the investment was made to lay tarmac in the 1950s to create the Indy track similar as to what it is today with the GP loop being built in 1960s.

From 1964 Brands Hatch held a round of the Formula 1 World Championship every other year up until 1984 and was also given the European Grand Prix status in 1972.

The Indy circuit is visited by the majority of British Championships at all levels. A classic short circuit always provides close racing and hosts the famous Formula Ford Festival later in the year. This circuit configuration is open all year for testing and track days giving you the opportunity to experience this fantastic classic circuit!

A classic race at the Brands Indy Circuit…. The British Touring Car Championship Round 1 of the championship in 2013! A certain Jason Plato and Andy Jordan go head to head for the first win of the 2013 season!

Track Walk

Paddock HillCredit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

One of the great corners in world motorsport! A very daunting one as the entry is on a rise with a bumpy breaking area before turning in blind as the track drops away so much from the apex to the exit just as your wanting to get the power on! A committed drive is needed through here as it feels like you will run out of room on the exit however as the car compresses at the bottom of the dip, gives you grip to shoot you immediately back up a steep hill towards Druids.

Paddock is a classic over taking point here but again very tricky with the bumps and how the track drops away! A drivers favorite!

DruidsCredit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Druids hair pin is approached steeply meaning a later than normal breaking point can be used, 2 different lines can be used here, either in early or the more traditional hairpin line depending on the car used and race situation. The exit kerb can be used but beware in the wet! Another classic overtaking point at Brands. Great spectators point too!

 

Graham Hill BendCredit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Graham Hill is crucial to get right to get a good exit onto the back straight, a short sharp breaking zone before balancing the car through to get on the power as early as possible. Popular to run off track on the exit however 2014’s track limit rules may make this corner less exciting. Over taking is possible here but a late lunge and trust in the other driver has seen you coming is needed!

 

SurteesCredit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Surtees in the Indy configuration is a great corner. Very fast and on the edge. Again very bumpy, barely a braking zone going through depending on your car. No real opportunity to pass unless you’ve managed to get along side out of Graham Hill.

Clearways

Clearways is probably the most important corner on the circuit as it leads onto the longest straight. An odd breaking area as you cross from one side of the circuit to the other before climbing upto the apex and just as you want to power down the track drops back down again causing a loss of traction! It is very technical as there a few lines through this corner and is so important making is a real challenge when looking after tyres or trying to extract the maximum in qualifying! Another lunge can be performed here by keeping tight.

Track-Talk-picAll Ginetta images: Jakob Ebrey Photography