Following the scorcher at Croft - Rounds 7 & 8 in the 750 Motor Club / K-tec Racing Clio 182 Championship was looking like it was going to turn into another hot weekend for the Kam Racing / JJR team at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit….

The practice session on the Friday started well with both James Sundler #24 and Simon Donoghue’s #25 cars setting good lap times. The cars were currently lapping well enough to have put them on the front row of the grid the last time the Clio Championship visited Brands Hatch. Feeling confident and with some setup tweaks the cars went out again to see if further gains could be found. This good spell was not to last. The final run of the day ended in disaster with the number 25 car of Donoghue’s engine letting go.

To be able to get out the next day was going to be tough ask! Luckily a replacement engine was able to be sourced at the track within the next 2 hours, so with an incredible team team effort and another 4 hours the replacement engine was now fitted.

After a long night working on Simon’s car, Saturday morning finally came. However with the morning came the heat – temperatures had soared way beyond Fridays efforts and now there was the added challenge of trying to keep as cool as possible. An early accident at Paddock Hill bend during qualifying meant that half the session was conducted with double waved yellows affecting the fastest corner of the circuit. Unfortunately in qualifying neither James nor Simon could quite match the times they had been setting the day before. The whole grid was closely matched with the top 20 covered by a second, and the gap between polesitter Don De Graaff and Charlie Turner was a miniscule 0.03s. James was the worst affected of our drivers with such a tight grid with his best time putting him in P14. Simon however managed to get a good enough time to put the #25 car into 5th on the grid

Race 1 was scheduled in for 6pm as the last of the Saturday’s evening track action so it meant a long wait in the afternoon heat after the qualifying session. Some hard racing from Donoghue saw a well-deserved 6th place. The poor start from James saw him drop 4 places off the grid straight away, but over the 15 minute race he managed to claw back a few positions to a disappointing 16th.

Sunday’s race 2 grid positions were set by the results of race 1 (with a reverse grid for the top ten) meaning there was no qualifying session for the days events. As there was no morning practice session either it meant a lot of waiting around for the drivers. This was probably a good thing as many drinks had been consumed by all the night before. Sundler was pretty far back on the grid in P16, but the 6th position in race 1 meant that Donoghue would start in P5 with all the top 5 race finishers starting right behind him.

Once action got underway it turned into a much more aggressive race than the first and saw plenty of contact between cars early on. This forced Simon into a defensive race holding back R1 pole sitter to achieve an outstanding P7. Following a poor race 1, James had the bit between his teeth in the second race and managed a strong drive from P16 right the way to finish the race in 10th. Given the challenges of the weekend this is a fantastic result for the team and some much needed points

After Rounds 7 and 8, James Sundler has maintained his 10th position in the drivers championship but Simon Donoghue has moved up three places to 9th following his great performances.