BTCC Brands Hatch GP — October 08-09
Well, that is the end of another season. Laser Tools Racing finished 4th in the Independent Teams’ Championship, with Aiden 6th in the Independent Drivers’ Championship and Dexter in 11th in his first season. We have had laughs, we have had frustrations and we have had trophies. Mind you, we have also suffered from the new technology that has been particularly unkind to us in the way of failures. So we start building for 2023 now and we say a massive thank you for your support this year!
The last qualifying session of the season proved to be the team’s best. Almost immediately, Dexter posted a 1.30.171 to go 7th and whilst he was able to push hard, he wasn’t able to beat it. Some really nervous expressions in the garage on that last couple of laps as former champions tried to better it, but none could and so P7 it would be for Dexter, his first ever top-ten BTCC qualifying.
Aiden meanwhile was also going well with a 1.30.603, less than half a second behind Dexter, but unfortunately that left him in 19th. Afterwards, Dexter said: “The car felt really good and the grip levels were amazing. I just thought it felt right to really attack the circuit and this was the result. I am really happy for the team.”
Aiden said: “I am really pleased for Dexter. My car was definitely getting better after our earlier driveshaft and brakes issues. I am confident that I can do something from 19th, but it will be tough as there are a lot of cars into Paddock Hill”.
The lights went out and we were off! It was a great start for both of our drivers and we were clear through Druids on lap 1 when Dexter was tagged by Josh Cook on the way into Graham Hill bend, forcing him out wide onto the grass and causing him to drop down to 23rd. Aiden meanwhile was going well in a great battle with Tom Chilton which he was able to win with a great move. As the race continued it was clear that things weren’t perfect after Dexter’s early clash and he was eventually forced to retire with four laps of the extended race left to go.
Aiden was able to continue some good progress, but the two safety cars — one was very lengthy — prevented him from a getting a real charge on the leaders. Despite these safety cars, he still made up four places to finish in 15th.
Once we got going it was clear that most of the cars on the grid were running a very similar pace so it looked like progress would be down to driver skills. In the opening laps we had Aiden getting past Ricky Collard for 14th and Dexter getting past Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne for 23rd.
As the race developed it was clear that both Aiden and Dexter were quick with Aiden finishing in 12th — where it was possible with the right reverse grid he could have had pole. As it was, Jason Plato in his last BTCC race meeting drew number 10, so we missed out. Dexter was also flying and was able to take another three places to end up in 20th.
Race 3 was delayed due to safety cars sessions in earlier races, but it was fine and dry at the start with Aiden sitting in 12th and Dexter in 20th. Aiden’s race started well, making up one place on the first lap to leapfrog Ricky Collard before passing Stephen Jelley’s BMW on lap 2 for 10th, where he finished the race to gain another good haul of points.
Dexter was caught out off the line by Ollie Jackson to drop a place, but then he really dug his heels in and went on the attack. On lap 7 he was back up to 20th with a great move, before moving up to 19th on lap 9. On lap 11 he got past Michael Crees for 17th before then flying on the last five laps to end up an excellent P14 and back in the points. What a great, positive way for the young Laser Tools Racing driver to finish his first year in the BTCC.
So BTCC-wise, that’s it for another year but we’ve still got the final rounds of the GB4 Championship at Donington this coming weekend!