Brilliant Brands Hatch Result

Senior School
18 Nov 20

In October, we were delighted to hear that Joshua Miller (Fourth Form) managed an incredible third place in the Ginetta Junior motor racing championship. 

We are extremely delighted to hear that this weekend, Josh secured himself first place during the final round of the season at Brands Hatch circuit.

Read Josh’s account below:

“All year, I had been praying for a wet race weekend as I generally perform better when the track is wet than I do in the dry, simply because my driving style and confidence to push the car that little harder tends to suit the slippery conditions better. Just as I was running out of hope for a wet weekend, it absolutely bucketed down, right from the get-go last Tuesday. That was when most of the drivers, including myself, were out on a Ginetta test day in preparation for the weekend. The track started off wet that morning due to rain overnight, allowing me to top the timesheets by two-tenths of a second in the first session of the day. For the rest of the day, once the track had dried up, I was running within the top ten.

On the Friday test, it was our last chance to get everything dialled in before qualifying the following morning. The conditions for the first session of the day were very similar to Tuesday – wet and greasy. I once again managed to pinch P1 in my favourite conditions but by a much tighter margin of just 0.06 seconds. In the second session, the track started off very greasy but started rapidly improving towards the end of the session, which took me off guard a little, running a wet setup on the car. This was a real shame as I’d been running in P1 with just five minutes to go but unfortunately ended up just outside the top ten.

Finally, Saturday came – the big day. It had rained all night and into the morning, meaning the track was very slippery indeed. This was a nice surprise for me as the weather seemed to be constantly changing, with the weather forecast predicting rain and then you wake up and the sun’s out! This was also a real confidence boost for me as a knew I had the pace for these conditions.

It had stopped raining just as qualifying started, but the track was still very slippery. I managed to get one flying lap in before a red flag came out temporarily stopping the session because a car had gone in the gravel at turn one (Paddock Hill Bend). While we were waiting in the pit lane for the car to be recovered, it started raining again. This meant that it was highly unlikely that anyone would go any faster, but it was still important to at least do a second flying lap. Your fastest lap determines your starting position for race one, and your race two starting position is determined by your second-fastest lap. Everyone now had to rush back out and do their best to put another lap in, in case another red flag came out, which could end the session, depending on how late on the incident occurs.  I managed it and came out of the session with double pole, meaning I’d be starting both races in first position.

Opening race one that afternoon, I managed to get a pretty good start, but not as good as my teammates, who were starting on the grid behind, meaning I had to stick to the tight line around turn one trying to ensure no one could sneak up my inside. The problem with this was that the inside line is the dryline, which is the line that has all the rubber laid down on and when you go on this in the wet, it’s incredibly slippy. This allowed my teammate to then get a good exit and get a run on me up the hill, forcing me to leave the door open to my other teammate who had also got a decent run up the hill. This meant that they were both able to sneak up my inside at turn two (Druids). This put me down to P3, which was incredibly frustrating, but I was still in a podium position. The race then had to be restarted due to a first-lap incident. On the restart I managed to hold on to P3 only to make a mistake a couple of laps later, losing me yet again another position, meaning I finished the race in P4. I did still get a rookie podium, but I wasn’t overly pleased with my performance.

During race two the next morning, I managed to get an average start but once again my teammate was slightly better, allowing him to take me around the outside. The race was almost immediately red-flagged, due to a relatively big incident that occurred on the start-finish straight, with a car stalling on the start line and two others going in the back of him. Now, because we hadn’t crossed the start/finish line before the red flag came out, it meant the positions went back one lap, meaning I got to restart the race from P1 again. And on the second restart, I managed to get an amazing start, holding P1 from start to finish.”

We are so proud of you Josh, congratulations!