Brands Hatch Indy, Kent - 23rd & 24th August 2006
After a few weeks out of the car and considerable work having been done on the SEAT, the Team were looking forward to a strong performance at Brands Hatch.
Friday's test sessions brought mixed fortunes. In session one, despite the changeable weather conditions and the fact that Brands Hatch is notorious for being hard on wets, Andrew posted sixth fastest time.
However session two saw problems with the gearbox and the steering rack.
The remainder of Friday was spent fitting a complete new steering rack and a replacement gearbox from SEAT.
|Saturday morning saw an off-par Andrew turn up for qualifying, after an upset stomach had kept him up in the night. But the adrenaline kicked in and during qualifying for race 1 he set his fastest time of the weekend and would start in 10th.
In the second qualifying session Andrew couldn't improve his earlier time and dropped back a place for race 2.
"We made a number of changes to the car after feedback from Andrew following qualifying" said Gordon Wardle, Team Manager. "He was struggling with understeer, as were many teams. This is the nature of the Brands circuit and we're working on finding a balance Andy feels comfortable with".
In race one, Andrew had a very average start and dropped back down the grid. He made up for it with an aggressive first lap and was soon hard on the tail of Tim Bevan.
|Jordan kept Bevan under pressure for six laps and when he made a mistake going into Paddock, both Andrew and Harry Vaulkhard squeezed through.
Andrew held Vaulkhard off for a number of laps, but when he got up the inside into Clearways Andrew couldn't defend his position. He and Vaulkhard were side by side going into Paddock Hill Bend and Andrew made a brave attempt to go around the outside, but Vaulkhard just pulled ahead.
"Andrew, Bevan and Vaulkhard had a great scrap for 10th" comments Wardle, "with so little action elsewhere on the track they benefited from some fantastic live coverage on Motors TV".
Jordan stayed hard on the tail of Vaulkhard for the next three laps, but when an excessive temperature alarm showed on the data logger he had to pit and in doing so lost his points finishing position. A quick check by the Team spotted this was a data logger error as the original SEAT dash was showing a normal reading and Andrew went back out for the remaining five laps.
In race 2 Andrew was last into the first corner, however he drove an outstanding first lap and was up into 7th place by the end.
For the opening three to four laps Jordan held on to the lead pack, chasing Neil Waterworth for 6th.
Vaulkhard then pulled up onto Andrew and pushed him hard for the majority of race.
On lap 19 Vaulkhard made a move up the inside at Clearways and snatched 7th off Andrew a lap before the finish.
"It's a real pity Andrew couldn't hold Vaulkhard off for just a little longer as he would've also picked up bonus points for the most improved driver position, moving up from 11th to 7th!" said Wardle.
The final round of the Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship takes place at Silverstone, Northamptonshire on 14th & 15th October.
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