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Driver comments from round 1 at Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch 16 May 2021

The Ferrari Challenge UK drivers were faced with very tricky conditions throughout the weekend, with several rain showers and heavy downpours during both races on the Indy Circuit on Saturday and the Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday. Drivers in both the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell classifications managed to master the very wet conditions and had the following to say about their experience during the first races of the 2021 season.

Paul Rogers, 3rd Coppa Shell Race 1: “Tricky conditions, like the last race of the season at Snetterton, very similar. I couldn’t see very much and I was waiting for a little bit of carnage in front of us, but it didn’t really happen. But then we got some standing water in Surtees Corner, and that took a few guys off. Then we had the Safety Car, and after that it was really very heavy rain, and probably on the edge of racing – but well done to De Meeus and de Zille for staying in front of me.”

Laurent De Meeus, 2nd Coppa Shell Race 1: “I managed to avoid making mistakes and passed some of the slower cars, and then after that I was trying desperately to overtake de Zille but he was always doing enough so that I couldn’t do it. It’s quite difficult on this track to overtake because there’s not enough room. I just want to thank Ferrari and HR Owen, because I’ve just arrived – it was a very last minute decision and here I am with a 2nd place trophy. I couldn’t be happier.”

Graham de Zille, 1st Coppa Shell Race 1: “This feels very good. It’s the first time I’ve been off Jersey for 9 months and the first time in a race car since last August so I can’t complain.”

John Dhillon, 3rd Trofeo Pirelli Race 1: “It was absolutely crazy out there, with those three battling away. I had a great start, as I usually do. I think the Safety Car coming out hampered me a little. I lost my mojo for a while, and it started to dry a little but it was still very greasy in places and Lucky managed to get me on the restart. It was awesome. But I never looked in my mirrors.”

Lucky Khera, 2nd Trofeo Pirelli Race 1: “I’m used to this step of the podium, and Dhillon didn’t have any mirrors, trust me. I couldn’t catch Han, it was like for like – once that gap was there, it stayed there. But it was brilliant.”

Han Sikkens, 1st Trofeo Pirelli Race 1: “It feels good to be on the top step of the podium, for the first time. Good competition from Lucky as always, but I thought it would have been a bit closer. I’m not so sure I can repeat this next time, with these guys, but we’ll try.”

Graham de Zille, 1st Coppa Shell Race 2: “I’m very happy. It was a difficult race and it was good to have a nice bit of space to just do some fast laps and get away from the guys behind. I couldn’t keep up with the guys in front, and it wasn’t too eventful, which is just the way I like them.”

Lucky Khera, 1st Trofeo Pirelli Race 2: “I managed to get a good start, and I focused before the race a bit more than yesterday. I got my head down and just got on with it. The conditions helped a lot today. Yesterday I went more sideways than I did straight, so it really helped. The 488 Challenge Evo it’s a lot, lot better – the aero helps the downforce and the cornering speeds and things like that. It’s a great car. It’s way more fun. More fun.”