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Paul Rivett – www.paulrivett.com
Brands Hatch was once a dirt track motorcycle circuit on farmland, but is now one of the most thrilling circuits in the UK with races from grass track to DTM. Below is an expert guide to Brands Hatch by Paul Rivett, three-times Clio Cup Championship winner.
The circuit begins on the Brabham Straight, an off-camber, slightly curved stretch. The ideal line is to hug the pit wall until the start/finish line and then move to the left of the circuit to prepare for the dip into the right-hander at Paddock Hill Bend. This is an extremely difficult corner to get right and not for the faint hearted. With a great sensation of compression at the bottom, you will need to be committed and confident of your exit speeds. I’m not going to suggest braking points as all cars are different, but the trick is to get all braking done before making the turn.
The next corner is Druids Hairpin – most braking points are around the bridge and then turn in at the end of the curb on the left. The apex is late and on the end of the curb on the right. You must be patient on this corner and not get on the power too early as you will experience understeer and run wide onto the grass. Remember, you will have more grip on the way in than the way out due to the gradient changes.
The track then curves around into the downhill off-camberGraham Hill Bend. Keep right early and start to load up the suspension by making the turn early to allow for a smoother braking before a main turn into the apex.
Get on the power early and drive to the apex and onto theCooper Straight. There is plenty of runoff room available, but be careful not to run too deep and hesitate on the power, as this will compromise the straight line speed.
The next corner splits for the Indy Circuit or GP Circuit, where we have Clearways, which is a long right-hander onto the start/finish line to complete your lap at a flying pace.
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