Div.A Brands Hatch Report

written by mark_van_haze

pictures by The-Nameless-01

EGTM season 3: Brands Hatch Div.A

Sprint race

Finally the wait was over and season 3 for the “Aliens Division” was kicking off. That being said, at EGTM the gap between the top drivers from the B division were only a bit over a second slower than the average driver from division A and yet, when it came down to the actual race, the qualities of Alien technology did shine through, making for a super tight finish.

The grid line up for the sprint race:

  1. Tetsukobura54
  2. Kalam719
  3. MagicWorld666
  4. Leetchee
  5. DesmoRider
  6. Bedstedfar_Boy
  7. MBR_Castor Troy
  8. Deruige
  9. IPsyko
  10. VP_Cobra
  11. AP-Meister
  12. VP_Marcolah

As the grid line up is set by the order of the qualifying, Marcolah ended up in final position, making for an exciting watch as he was sure to push through the whole field during these 11 laps. Castor won the fanboost and it was going to be interesting whether he would break the EGTM curse of the previous winners of the fanboost (they usually didn’t fare too well in the sprint race). The lights went out and things got tight in bend one, Psyko was already shovelling sand but managed to get back on track before entering Druids. Castor got a great start and got into 3rd before entering the 3rd turn as well as Leetchee, who nabbed second place, right behind Testukobura. Only a turn later deruige spins out, dropping into 11th, but that was not going to stop the best ex Div B driver, so he got back on track and started the pursuit. Worst hit was Bedstedfar, crawling with engine damage towards the first straight.

Entering Sheenes corner, Magic world and Cobra fought hard but a gentle tap on the rear corner sent Magic spinning out, dropping into 12th.

By lap two, Leetchee grabbed the lead with Castor right behind using his Fanboost to stay up close and find an opportunity to pass. Further back Kalam goes hard on TestuKobura, after being punted hard by IPSyko, then pushing Tetsukobura into the gravel. Yes it might be the Aliens division but they too know how to spell “contact sport”.

Lap 3 we saw Marcolah already in 3rd, clearly profiting from the carnage in front of him. Castor made a small mistake coming out of Surtees and even with the fanboost, that was enough for the top Alien Marcolah to suck up to his rear bumper, then take the outside line for Hawthorn and !overtake! the fanboosted Castor. If I didn’t see it myself, I would not have believed this to be possible.

And so lap 4 started with Marcolah crossing the line as second, gaining on Leetchee at quite pace. Yet Leetchee who knew well who he had in his rear, managed to keep Marcolah at bay through the whole lap. Lap 5 saw a good 0.3 seconds between them and using the fanboost plus the fastest windbreaker on the grid, Castor was right in Marcolahs rear wing too.

Lap 6 saw deruige manage to climb into 6th, with Desmorider ahead holding a gap of over a second. Behind deruige was Kalam trailing by 2.7 seconds. Marcolah managed to drop a fast lap at 1:27.626 – a solid second faster than most qualifying laps for Div B.

Lap 7 and Leetchee still managed to keep the lead which considering the crazy pressure he was getting from Marcolah was quite impressive. Castor was doing good up until the dreaded Sheenes turn where a rear left contact with the grass sent him wide, letting Cobra pass into 3rd.

But then came lap 8 and it was all Marcolah needed: a small slow down on the exit to the finish line and Marcolah took the inside line and entered Druids as the leader.

In Lap 10 Castor makes his fanboost count and makes a great passin Druids over Cobra, grabbing 3rd.  Meanwhile Marcolah opened his lead over Leetchee to 1.7 seconds and Leetchee was under no pressure as he was leading with 3.7 seconds over Castor. But not all was decided yet because deruige was not going down without a fight, pushing hard through Clark curve and managing to get side by side with Cobra. Incredibly, they stayed side by side up until Hawthorn. The battle went on though and they both crossed the finishing line, side by side, with Cobra just ahead, taking 3rd.

Sprint Race final standings

  1. Marcolah
  2. Leetchee
  3. CastorTroy
  4. Cobra
  5. Deruige
  6. IPsyko
  7. AP-Meister
  8. Desmorider
  9. Kalam
  10. Bestedfar_boy
  11. Tetsukobura
  12. MagicWorld

Main race

After the excitement and carnage of the sprint race, all was ready and geared up for the main event. As a new addition we also had a safety car leading the formation lap, piloted by The Nameless.

Starting Grid:

  1. The Nameless (Safety Car)
  2. Marcolah
  3. AP-Meister
  4. Cobra
  5. IPsyko
  6. Deruige
  7. CastorTroy
  8. Bedstedfar_boy
  9. Desmorider
  10. Leetchee
  11. MagicWorld
  12. Kalam719
  13. Tetsukobura54

The formation lap ended with Marcolah tearing ahead, creating a 1 second gap early on with IPSyko getting a great start and putting himself into 2nd position. Behind him was Cobra, AP_meister, deruige and Castor in 6th.

But by lap 5 IPSyko was pushing his Mercedes hard and started sucking up to Marcolah, dropping a fast 1.27.181 and closing that gap down to half a second. By lap 7 that gap disappeared and as both entered the pits, they were practically on top of each other. The same story repeated itself further back as Cobra had a wide exit in Sheenes, losing time and giving Desmorider the chance to close the gap. They both went in for the pits with quite some contact.

The Audis of deruige and Bedsteadfar stayed out for another lap opening the 8th lap lead with all the pit stoppers coming up behind on fresh mediums.

By lap 10 everybody had their first pitstop and Marcolah was again elading the pack, with Giovanni breathing down his neck, Cobra in 3rd, Castor 4th, deruige 5th, Desmo 6th, AP-Meister 7th, Leetchee 8th. A lap later Marcolah who now had fresh tires and pushed harder, made a fast lap of 1:27.117, and opened a 1.6 second gap to IPSyko.

In lap 12 Desmorider and AP_meister had a good battle, their gap having disappeared but passing in Brands Hatch really comes down to the leader making a mistake, as the track is just too narrow, and Desmorider managed not to give in and keep the lead.

Not so with the leading Marcolah. While he was in the lead, the AMG was getting larger and larger as he looked in his rearview mirror and tiny mistakes made him lose precious time. IPsyko was on a mission and by lap 13 he reduced the gap to 1.1 seconds. By lap 14 that gap melted away to 0.6 seconds and it seemed as if IPsyko was not only managing but excelling on spent tires while the GTR was struggling to keep the same grip.

Further back Leetchee was holding his own, clearly gelling with his prancing horse more than with the previous seasons Lexus. In 6th he now had only deruige to beat while behind him was Magic in 7th and Desmo in 8th.

By lap 16 IPsyko was pretty much glued to Marcolahs rear spoiler, creating immense amounts of pressure on the Alien. The question now was, do Aliens sweat? Probably not because Marcolah was defending like a champ, closing the door multiple times on attempted passes by the AMG. But that only made IPsyko try harder and then in lap 17, flying into Sheenes, IPsyko just manages to get his rear left tire onto the grass. For any other driver, especially in an ass happy car like the Mercedes, this would have been a guaranteed spinout. Not so for Giovanni, he somehow managed to hold that rear sliding sideways and getting back on track without losing control. I asked him after the race how he did it and he simply shrugged it off saying it must have been luck. Yes, that is Giovanni the modest Italian, breaking all stereotypes.

Meanwhile going into lap 18, Cobra was trying hard to get away from Castor but that BMW was not going to be shaken or stirred. What probably added the pressure for Castor to stay close was a blue Audi catching his slip stream. Deruige who after leaving us in Div B to join the Alien nation, was driving an incredible race, pushing himself closer and closer to a possible podium finish.

Racing down into Westfield Bend, Castor was lining up a fantastic pass by taking the outside line behind Cobra, then cutting in, taking the speed with him to pass him on the inside and take 3rd. By the end of this lap Marcolah went for his final pitstop, grabbing fresh tires and coming out in 7th. After further pitstops, and cruicially, IPsykos pitstop, the lineup changed with deruige in the lead, Markolah second and then with a 2.6 second gap the Mercedes of Giovanni. 11 seconds later came Cobra, then Castor, Bedstedfar and Leetchee. By the end of that lap deruige had his pitstop and managed to squeeze out into 4th, right between Cobra in 3rd and with a 0.7 gap to Castor.

Lap 21 and IPsyko was killing that gap to Marcolah at a breathtaking pace. His laserfocus on those rear lights of Marcolah could not be broken and by lap 23 the gap was down to 1.3 seconds. Lap 25 and it was only 0.5 seconds that kept nr1 and nr2 alien apart.

Lap 27, racing into Druids, IPsyko did a clean pass on the inside and for the first time during the race, grabbed the lead. But he had it only for seconds because accelerating out of Surtees, he went wide, mowed the lawn and gave the lead back to Marcolah. This opened a new 1.1 second gap with only a few leaps left to go, yet IPSyko is always best when chasing and he was going to prove it once again.

Meanwhile Desmorider managed to fight his way past Castor who went wide on Hawthorns and ended up near a wall. Desmo used that opportunity and grabbed 5th, now with a 1.5 second gap to deruige. And by lap 31, Desmo pushed harder, passing into 4th with deruige tailing him furiously.

Crossing the line into the final lap, deruige got a great line on the inside and Desmo, deruige and Cobra, 3 a breast, stormed into Druids corner. He held the lead but racing into Hawthorns, deruige was going wide, riding straight into the grass and yet, managed somehow to defend his position with Cobra trading paint at every opportunity.

The final turn was coming up and the Aliens were side by side. IPsyko was pressuring Marcolah without taking a break and it was time for the finishing move. IPsyko lined up outside for Clark Curve, side by side with Marcolah and in an incredible move, slid sideways around Marcolah and managed to pass him on the outside, grabbing the win!

Main race final standings

  1. IPsyko
  2. Marcolah
  3. Deruige
  4. Desmorider
  5. Cobra
  6. Leetchee
  7. CastorTroy
  8. Bedstedfar_boy
  9. AP Meister
  10. Kalam
  11. MagicWorld
  12. Tetsukobura

Stream ReLive

Picture credits: Michael Janik

Advertisement

img advertisement

RECENT POSTS

RACE REPORTS