A weekend of many firsts
Brands Hatch has always been close to our heart – metaphorically and geographically (based only 40mins away). We have experienced many great race weekends in the Kent countryside and the 5th round of the 2022 750mc ClioSport Championship followed suit.
It was the first time ever that JG Racing had lined up as a five car team but with the introduction of additional team personnel to help, the race day ran smoothly and successfully (apart from the small matter of an X Games inspired flip by Gareth Tansey in our #26 car. More info on that later).
Our next ‘first’ of the weekend, was a fantastic first career pole position for our 2022 newcomer Alex Hawkins, finishing 300th of a second ahead of Championship returnee Jason Pelosi. We had the pleasure of running Jason and his Team Deranged car for the weekend, so technically it was a JG Racing Class A ‘front row’ for Race 1 (which was also a first for JG Racing).
Race one was eventful. Following an unfortunate collision involving our friends from other teams, the race had to be restarted after 6 laps. The concluding laps saw a three-way shoot out involving Jason, Alex and competitor Ben Swift. Thankfully both Jason and Alex got the better of Ben on the final laps to finish 1st and 2nd respectfully, taking the top two spots of the podium (another first for the team).
Finishing just outside the top three, was our title challenger Chris Keir in 4th place. Followed by Peter O’Connor, a new driver for both JG Racing and the Championship. Peter finished 8th in class, a great effort for his first ever ClioSport Championship race. Gareth Tansey in our Podium Transport and Goram & Vincent sponsored car finished 9th, securing five JG Racing cars in the top ten (another first for the team (have you spotted a theme?)).
Race two was hard fought, with the majority of the team starting further down the order than in race one. This didn’t deter our Championship title contender Chris Keir, who managed 2nd place after a great drive. Finishing in 3rd place and picking up our fourth team podium position of the weekend was race one winner, Jason Pelosi. Just behind Jason in 4th (after a valiant drive from further down the field) was pole position man Alex Hawkins in our second Powerlite Fitzgerald sponsored car. Our newest team member Pete finished in a respectable 9th place.
In contrast to the many highs at Brands Hatch our number 26 car, driven by Gareth Tansey was unfortunate enough to come off-track at Paddock Hill bend towards the end of the race. Even more unfortunate was the way in which the wheels dug into the gravel trap, flipping Gareth in his car upside down and back onto it’s wheels. Thankfully Gareth was unhurt and the car is somewhat repairable ahead of the final round of the Championship at Snetterton in a few weeks. What was equally unfortunate was Gareth was getting quicker and quicker as the race progressed and was on for a great finish. It was great to see Gareth pushing the car to it’s limit.
With Brands Hatch being so close to home, it was fantastic to see so many friends and family make the effort to attend and support the team and drivers. A special mention should also go to both Mark Long (featured photo credit) and Tony Pilkington for attending with their cameras and capturing the weekend with some fantastic shots.