Well, I know I said I’d like to sneak a podium in the final race after the reverse grid but getting one a race early in the 2nd race and backing that up with a 4th in the final race and leaving Brands only 8 points off 2nd place in the championship I didn’t think we’d achieve!
However getting to this point wasn’t as easy as it sounds! Friday started really well as in FP1 we managed to put in the 3rd quickest time which was a great start, this optimism was soon followed by a blow as in FP2 my engine detonated itself on my first flying lap putting 3 holes in the block! This eliminated the chance for me to try out new tyres for the first time ever before qualifying. It was a relatively late night for Oscar, Rob, Alex and Paul who all did a great job to swap the engine overnight so a huge thanks to those boys at the SV Racing team!
So going into qualifying would be my first run on new tyres. We waited a little bit of time to see where the times would settle before going out. I spent quite a few laps warming my tyres as I was sure the fronts weren’t up to temp. As I was comfortable and about to start my 1st flyer the red flags came out for a car off at clearways. This put a little bit of pressure on me as I hadn’t put in a competitive time with roughly 7 mins to go. I got on it straight out of the pits and chipped away at my times to go P7 which was acceptable given the circumstances. It was really close as I was 0.15 off the front row!
I was a bit keen putting down 355 horses off the line in the first race which cost me a lot of track position into Paddock. I had slipped to 10th however managed to take advantage of others to gain back again to 7th by the flag. The pace was really good and we held onto the group battling for 4th so it was a really positive result! On further inspection the car had some play in the steering which was down to worn steering joints so we knew we had a faster car for Sunday!
For the first of the Sunday races I would start 7th again. It opened up a bit for me at the start as I got a much better launch and managed to slip in behind a slow starting Robertson as everyone went to the outside to avoid him. All I saw going into paddock was a lot of tyre smoke and then as I emerged side by side with Oliphant that I had avoided the carnage to come out 3rd! The safety car was quickly deployed to clear up the mess. This helped as I wasn’t too experienced on cold tyres so this gave me a chance to get them up to temp some more. I made an ok restart sticking close to Robertson’s bumper however soon came under pressure from Oliphant in the early stages. By mid race I was quickest on track and bought the car home in 3rd! This result more than exceeded our expectations coming to the weekend so I was over the moon!
So being in the mix for the reverse grid meant that I would be starting 4th for the final race of the weekend. I knew another solid finish would cement a fantastic weekend. I got another great start and even managed to challenge for 2nd through the first corner.
Come the end of the first lap I was back down to 4th again and at the start of the race didn’t have the pace again so came under pressure from Robertson and Oliphant who both got past. I had to keep doing my fair share of defending before the tyres came on and I was able to crack on with the race! Again I picked up on others misfortune, however as the day had gone so well so far, I was disappointed with my 4th place finish. But looking back on it, it was more than we could have asked for!
As I said it left us leaving Brands only 8 points off 2nd in the championship so a really positive result! A huge thank you to the SV team for their efforts over the weekend, to Sears Morgan Group, KX Energy and the KX Akademy for their support as well!
Since Brands I took up my driving duties for Brunel University at Clay Pigeon raceway in the British University Karting Championship (BUKC), where I was able to take a race win and help Brunel win the final round of the year which was a great result in my final BUKC race. That result helped the team finish 7th in the championship which is the best result the university has ever had!
I have also been helping out the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) as part of my Rising Star role, where we instructed BMW clients around the Silverstone GP circuit all day. I even got to sample an M135i with fellow members Matt Parry and Sam Brabham and show them how tin top drivers drift!
Finally we have been to the TOCA test at Thruxton, my first time at the circuit and put in the 3rd quickest time which was a huge confidence boost! The track is absolutely mega, especially out the back of the circuit and I can’t wait to get back to it in May!
All in the life of a student racing driver! Really looking forward to Donington to see what we can do!
My #KaptureKX competition will be running again for any photographers out there. The competition is aimed at anyone with a camera to snap a pic of one of the KX Akademy drivers and tweet it into #KaptureKX, the winner will win a signed, framed A4 print of their image! Details can be found here: http://www.davidpittard.co.uk/kapture-kx-photo-competition/
The KX Akademy will be running the KX QT again on the Donington weekend, make sure to follow @David_Pittard on Twitter to find out the details when they are released.
If you’re coming past the SV Racing awning please pop in and say hello!