Round-up from the Brands Hatch paddock

Brands Hatch 12 settembre 2022

Brands Hatch hosted the fourth round of the 2022 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli UK season. Featuring a unique combination of dips, turns and hills, drivers were also forced to deal with two different circuit layouts over the 3-4 September 2022 weekend. In Race-1, drivers raced the shorter, 1.2-mile Indy version, while Race-2 took place on the GP layout, featuring a dramatic change of track and distance, with the turns increasing from seven to eleven, plus double the mileage.

Day of tests. In reality, the short Indy circuit had also included an earlier prologue on Friday, with a day of testing as part of this non-standard three-day format (usually limited to two). Having been track-starved for over two months, all the drivers were in a rush to get back behind the wheels and start eagerly bonding with their Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars once again.

Say ‘Cheese!’  With the 10-week summer break out of the way, the official race weekend got underway with all the drivers and their cars gathering for the now traditional group photo. Although many had not seen each other since round three, held at Donington Park in June, old friendships were quickly rekindled, sparked by the irrepressible desire to get back on the track.

Dream debut. Carl Cavers (Graypaul Nottingham) made his championship debut at Brands Hatch and immediately impressed. Showing some familiarity with the Indy and GP tracks, Cavers qualified in second place for Race-1, a position he maintained with great commitment also during the race, fending off attacks from the leader in the standings, Jason Ambrose (Dick Lovett Swindon). Race-2 would prove even better, leading the Coppa Shell field from pole position to flag.

Seale makes a comeback. Brands Hatch also saw the return of John Seale (Carrs Ferrari) after his appearance in the opening round at Oulton Park. Having missed the subsequent rounds, Seale was back, but preferred to stay focused in the pits between sessions, in close contact with the team and technical crew, studying the telemetry in a bid to further improve his performance. 

Off day. The weekend at the circuit in the county of Kent had started well for Stuart Marston (Maranello Sales), who on Saturday had managed to take the lowest step of the podium in the Coppa Shell Race-1. On Sunday, however, a minor slip-up in the final laps of qualifying saw him collide with the crash barriers. The mechanics swiftly managed to repair the damage and get the car back into shape in time for Race-2. During the race, however, Marston ended up in the gravel, bringing his participation to an early finish. He will have a chance to redeem himself at the final date at Silverstone.

See you shortly. Silverstone will host the thrilling final round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli UK season in just under a fortnight (16-18 September), coinciding with the fifth round of the European series. The two races left will determine the winners of the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell, with the firm favourites the leaders in the standings, Lucky Khera (Graypaul Birmingham) and Jason Ambrose respectively. However, the competition is still wide open and anything could happen.