Brands Hatch, England – Welcome back to the third edition of the chronicles of a race car driver in England! Since I last checked in last Friday, Michai and I have been having a blast here. Once we got back from Silverstone we had some time to really relax and get in a groove. A groove which has included sleeping in, going to the pool and gym, and go-karting! It only took us until Sunday to start having racing withdrawals, so we called up the mechanics from Cliff Dempsey Racing and met up at the local kart track. We all had a great time hustling some karts and beating up on each other.
Sunday night after searching every corner of the internet I managed to figure out how to stream the (Green Bay) Packer NFL game (GoPackGo! They won). On Monday the Team Canada driver Chase Pelletier, showed up to get his seat fitted at the race shop. So being the nice and friendly Americans we are, we invited Chase to come karting with us Monday night. We all had a great Cliff Dempsey Racing team bonding experience! Racing is all about going fast and having fun and I’m positive we are all going to be doing a lot of that over the next two weeks.
On Tuesday we packed up and rode down to Brands Hatch to get setup and settled into our hotel. When we arrived at the track it was super windy so the team couldn’t put the canopy up. So, Michai and I went on a very cold, wind and rainy track walk! You can never really appreciate elevation change until you see it in person. And let me tell you, Brands Hatch has some elevation change. Paddock Hill Bend goes almost straight down, then as if going down a steep hill isn’t enough you immediately climb back up an equally steep hill to Druids Bend. I was getting a workout on the track walk, and it wasn’t because of its length. But even with Brands Hatch coming in at just over a mile (1.2 to be exact) it definitely packs a punch. I couldn’t wait to get out and rip it up!
On Wednesday I got my first laps of Brands Hatch. It was like a big roller coaster ride! It sort of reminds me of Lime Rock a bit as far as length and speed goes. I took to the track really well getting up to speed right away in the first couple sessions. The rest of the day was a great success getting lots of running time and trying some different setups.
As I write this last paragraph I sit in my hotel room after day two of testing here at Brands Hatch! Today we had a bit of everything. We had a nice dry track the first three sessions and then some damp driving in the final session. Again we had great pace in both the dry and damp! At the end of the day the Cliff Dempsey Racing guys all got to do some practice starts. Although I’ve never done a standing start in a race car before I spent most of my teenage years trying to drag race from every stop sign and stop light. So, I caught on quickly! We have one more day of testing tomorrow and then the real fun begins on Saturday. So look forward to a full unfiltered race report after the weekend!
Giant thanks goes out again to the Cliff Dempsey Race team who has been busting their butts to give me and the rest of the team awesome cars! Thank you also to all the Team USA supporters who are making all of this happen. And thank you to all the readers keeping up with my adventure.