The Civic Cup descended on Brands Hatch this weekend with unpredictable weather ahead and a 22 car grid it was set to be a fantastic event for both fans and drivers once more.

As Always we’d just like to say Thank You at the start to our Sponsors Brentacre who provide insurance for Modified vehicles. Follow the link here for a quote: http://www.brentacre.co.uk/AreaMotorsport and SuperPro Suspension Bushes for there Support.

We arrived at Brands Hatch early Morning on the Friday for a Test day before the weekend with not just ourselves, but with Mark Andserson and Nathan Burrell in their EK Civics which we had done some extensive testing with at Donington just a few days before.

With gloomy conditions and a very green busy sessioned Test Day we were keen to get as much time in as possible however this wasn’t  the case. With Car’s going off causing Red Flags every five minutes we only managed a total of 17 laps throughout the whole Test Day which ment we were going into qualifying pretty much blind. We did however know we had pace as our combined sectors on the Data showed lap times nearly a second quicker than what we actually did on the day. One massive plus point for us was the Area Motorsport assisted EK of Mark Anderson posting some fantastic times throughout the day, clearly showing some fantastic potential after some changes to his car.

Having been to Brands Hatch many times supporting the BTCC, GT and Clio Cup we were still confident of the lines and the overtaking oppurtunities around this tight circuit.

This weekend for the Civic Cup would be a double header with Qualifying and both Races all on the Sunday, this was great for fans, but for ourselves a slight worry as times between each outing were tight if any damage occured and required repairing.

Going into qualifying the Area camp had a sense of optimism knowing our pace was there from testing although we hadn’t actually had an ideal lap. Qualifying as expected was extremely busy with 22 cars out there on the sub 1 minute lap and to add that the track was wet but drying as we went out. Out for qualifying it became immediately apparent it would be down to a clear lap right at the end of the session on the drying track. The Area Cars made there way out to the front of the line up to ensure we could have as much space as possible in qualifying.

Pictured below – Our Number 6 EP3 followed by the EK’s of firstly Mark Anderson in the Silver Yellow EK and the Black and Green EK of Nathan Burrell.

 


Out for Practice laptimes were tumbling with P1 being held by 6 different drivers throughout the session. Fortunately for ourselves on Lap 15 out of 16 we found ourselves with a clear track and a dry line appearing. Knowing this was the lap to really push on we did so hard and managed to come over the line after previously being down in 4th in 1st position! Both other Area assisted cars had a mixed qualifying with the cars feeling great but paying the price with traffic. This was cemented further when looking at the Data and seeing they both could of done laps putting them in P3 and P4 if they’d managed to get a traffic free lap at the end.

This left the grid for Race 1 with ourselves at P1, the yellow and silver EK of Anderson in P8 and the black EK of Burrell in P10 both keen to make progress in Race 1 as Race 2 grid would be determined by Race 1 Results.

Qualifying Images can be found here:

Area Assited cars of Mark Anderson #12 and Nathan Burrell

Area Motorsports EP3:

With just a few hours until Race 1 there was no time dwell on missed opportunity and the Team at Area got to work on ensuring the cars were going to be in perfect condition for Race 1 with alignment checks on all 3 cars and some changes made after a quick de-brief. The main focus was on the EK’s to ensure they were in a confidence inspiring car allowing them to hopefully make progress through the field in Race 1.

The time went quickly and the call went out for us to head upto the assembly area ready for Race 1. Onto the grid with no green flag lap and no heat in the tyres or brakes was certainly going to make it interesting into Paddock and would really depend on who had taken their brave pills as to who would benefit. We were a little concerned as Brands is renound as being a circuit where P1 is certainly not the best position to be in most cases at the start. And those concerns became apparent with a terrible start and being swamped into the first corner putting us back to 7th. A contrasting start for one of the other Area Assisted cars of Mark Anderson who managed to go from P8 sideways around the top 6 and then slotting into P2 a truly fantastic move which must be viewed HERE.  Nathan Burrell in the black and green EK also made progress upto 6th place at the end of the first lap pressurising the car infront. Thankfully although dropping back to 7th ourselves in our EP3 managed to make up 3 positions around the outside of druids and slot back into 3rd and then by the end  of the first lap up into 2nd giving us a good position to push forward with Rich Hockley in the number 1 car snapping at our heels.

3 laps went quickly with us pressing forward towards the Tegiwa Imports EP3 of Luke Sezikowski and on the tail of him into Graham Hill bend we were really applying pressure, however coming round graham hill bend the Ep3 of Tegiwa Imports was massively slow after missing a gear meaning we had to take evasive action to avoid him and in turn this allowed Hockley to go straight from 3rd to 1st and quickly pull a gap. The next lap into paddock we attacked the Tegiwa EP3 and up the inside slight contact was made and we finally made the move stick into Druids, it was now time to push towards Hockley. Meanwhile Anderson and Burrell were both having their own battle in P5 and P6 after making fantastic progress through the field they would cement these positions to the finish line.

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Pressing forward by lap 10 we had managed to catch Hockley and were just 4 tenths behind him. Through Paddock and upto Druids we made the move for first and thankfully it stuck, we now had 5 laps of one of the quickest drivers in the series trying to get that position back from us. Some fantastic Racing once again between the both of us saw us crossing the line with nothing between us but thankfully us securing P1 after a terrible start, the most satisfying result of any we have had in Civic Cup to date.

 

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Our Race 1 onboard can be viewed here: Civic Cup 2014 Brands Hatch Race 1

Race 1 Images can be found here:

After Race 1 the repeat of the process from Race 1 was performed with all 3 cars being aligned again due to the curbs being harsh around Brands Hatch we were having to do this meticulously to ensure the cars were set as they should be, there were also some repairs performed to our number 6 car after the contact in Race 1.

Headlight out of alignment, wing dented, bumper split all fixed within 20 minutes by the guys from Area.


Race 2 was difficult even pre race for us, as the rain was coming but it was impossible to gauge how far away it was. We had our low tread 888’s and high tread 888s ready and decided to go with the dry tyres which would lead to difficult circumstances later on in Race 2.

Onto the grid Area Cars were occupying Top 6 spots with ourselves in the number 6 car in P1 with Mark Anderson P5 and Nathan Burrell P6. The lights went out and another fantastic start was made by both Area assisted EK’s taking them up to P4 and P5 whilst our number 6 car made another poor get away to round druids in P3 with Hockley leadings and Sedzikowski 2nd. Craig Shore also made a fantastic start making his way up to P6.


We knew at this point straight away to have any chance of catching Hockley we’d need to pass the Tegiwa EP3 as quickly as possible which we managed to do up to Druids on the following few laps with both other Area assisted EK’s keeping pace right at the front. Then, the rain fell…. Hard!. Coming down to Graham Hill bend pretty much every car had a sideways moment but thankfully everyone saving it well. Trying to find the grip on a ever changing track was difficult and Hockley managed to pull out a 2.5 second lead on ourselves by the 5th lap with Nathan Burell in the Black and Green EK making his way upto 3rd but still being pressed by the Tegiwa EP3. The race remained like this with us catching Hockley but with him driving a fantastic Race it was extremely difficult in the EP3 weighing over 250 KG more and really struggling to put the power down.

However coming round to the final 3 laps we managed to be just .5 of a second from Hockley and began to pressure him wherever we could do. With braking off line difficult and Hockley driving fantastically making his EK as wide as possible we couldn’t pass coming over the line with 2nd just .45 off Hockley. Nathan Burrell managed to finish a fantastic 3rd showing great car control in the wet conditions whilst Mark Anderson finished right on the bumper of the Tegiwa EP3 in 5th.

Once again a fantastic weekend of racing and praise goes out to everyone involved in particular Shaun Woods of SW Motorsports for running the series and the 750 MC for providing everyone with another fantastic weekend. Also to Tegiwa Imports for sponsoring the series thus allowing us to have the fantastic coverage that we do.

TV coverage is on the 8th of May on Motors TV and the next round is at Castle Combe on the 26th of May.

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