Newstead impresses at Brands again
7th July 2015
Neil Newstead impresses crowds at home Circuit Brands Hatch with a win and two seconds, and continues to lead the JCW Power Maxed Mini Challenge MSVR Championship.
Following a hat trick of wins at Silverstone earlier in the month, Neil Newstead and Oakfield Motorsport went to Brands Hatch full of confidence and carrying the lead of the JCW Power Maxed Mini Challenge MSVR Championship with 485 points, from 400 points.
Following a successful test day on the Friday, showing the car had great pace and Newstead was really focussed, there was no real surprise that when qualifying started in only took Newstead a couple of laps to take control and put in a succession of fasted laps that the rest of the field could not compete with, lap 6 saw Newstead put in a time of 53.768 which was quick enough to take pole, however he went better still and finished with a 53.754 on lap 13.
Race 1 on Saturday afternoon was brought to an almost immediate stop after Newstead went to the inside line into Druids, only to run out of room and end up on the grass and with no way of stopping he collected a number of cars at the apex. With the red flags out a number of cars needed to be recovered, but Newstead managed to limp back to the pit lane with a puncture. The team changed the wheel in no time what so ever, and sent him on his way. With a restart underway Newstead started the race from the Pit lane putting him at the back of the grid, the restart allowed all the other cars to have a green flag lap to warm their tyres and brakes, with the red lights out Newstead charged his Black and Green Oakfield Motorsport JCW #77 from the Pits, and was clearly a man on a mission. It took Newstead 10 laps to catch the back of the pack, however once he was there he made short work of getting himself into third position, behind team mate Steve Cocker. It was clear Steve was not going to allow him pass and proceeded to make his car extremely wide, this did not phase Newstead who was clearly the quicker driver and he placed his car inch perfect going into Clearways, and made a successful pass in to second place. With the race cut short to 15 minutes, Newstead run out of time and could not catch winner Jono Brown, but finished a very happy man second place on the podium, but more importantly collecting full championship points for fastest lap, leading the race, and winning as Brown was a guest driver.
Race 2 on Sunday afternoon arrived after a full grid walk, open to the public to get close to the drivers and cars and experience the starting positions on one of the world’s most iconic sporting venues, Newstead felt confident. Setting the fastest lap in Race 1, should have seen him on pole, but a 10 place grid penalty for the incident at the beginning of race 1 saw him starting at the back of the grid. All cars got away well, Newstead sat at the back for the first lap allowing space through the grid, on the start of the second lap he started to move through the pack, it took him 5 laps to take the lead. From there on he drove a perfect race finishing on the top step of the podium to again collect a full complement of Championship points for winning the race, fasted lap and leading the race.
Race 3 was the last race of the day bringing an end to a brilliant and eventful weekend of racing at Brands Hatch Mini Festival. With a reverse grid of the top 5 cars, Newstead started from P5 by the end of lap 1 he had hurled himself to second place closely on the back of Hamish Brandon, however lap 2 saw the safety car out until lap 7. Newstead could just not catch Brandon, who played his joker and had 2 brand new tyres on for this race, after a spectacular roll of Lee Patisons F56 at Paddock Hill on lap 11, this brought out the safety car yet again for 3 more laps, leaving only one hot lap remaining Newstead had to settle for another second place, collecting some more invaluable championship points.
Newstead’s next racing will be at Oulton Park, in Cheshire one of Newstead favourite tracks on the 8 August 2015, which will also be a Mini Festival.
Neil Newstead said: “Going into this weekend I felt so positive, we have prepared ourselves so well, the team have put so much work in and this just shows with the results we have achieved. Qualifying was amazing the car was just hooked up and flying, we played with the set up a lot on the test day which again paid off. I made a mistake at the start of Race 1, unfortunately ending up on the grass not being able to stop the car. This brought a real reality that no matter how much preparation the team and myself put in, it can, and could off all go wrong in a split second. Determination, experience and professionalism certainly paid off in Race 1 after the incident, as I drove down the pits with a puncture and damage to the car, I felt so positive as the team where already there waiting for my arrival. The best saying of the whole weekend was my number 1 mechanic Lee Welch telling me the car was mint, wheel changed nothing to worry about go and have some fun! After the race I could not believe the damage to the side of my car. Taking away the incident I had a fantastic weekend of racing, again the team Oakfield Motorsport where brilliant I continue the lead the Class Championship and my thanks again go to my partners and sponsors: Best of British partner Corbeau Seats, Chandlers of Hailsham, Oakfield Estate Agents, SDS Builders & Decorators, Stu Lane.com and Teng Tools.
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