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Opening the season in style at Brands Hatch!

And they’re off…

The last weekend in May saw the return of the British GT and BRDC F3 championships, and a very wet and windy Brands Hatch played host to a weekend of motorsport action – both on and off the track.

The season opener consisted of two days of practice and qualifying sessions, and culminated in a two-hour race at the Kentish circuit on the Sunday; the first of a nine round campaign for 2021.

This was the first time that the Bremsen Technik Motorsport team had been allowed full access to the track, paddock and grounds since the start of lockdown, and Paul Wilkinson, BTUK’s Motorsport Product Manager, made sure he wasn’t going to miss out!

Brands Hatch, Kent – an iconic setting for the opening race of the British GT3 and BRDC Formula 3 2021 season.

The five hour drive down to Brand’s Hatch didn’t quite set the tone for the weekend, with strong winds and rain buffeting the van for most of the journey – not what you would call an ideal climate for a weekend of face-paced racing. But the show must go on, and the upon arriving, the various teams were hard at work setting up their mobile workshops, linking up telemetry systems and performing preliminary checks on every part of their heavily modified race-cars – it truly was a hive of activity and every inch a professional set up – even down to the “lowly” tin-top series of older race cars huddled under their tents and gazebos in the outer paddock.

After a quick tour of the circuit, Paul made his way into the heart of Brand’s Hatch – the main paddock area – nestled between ‘Brabham Straight’ and ‘Cooper Straight’, and the epicentre of the weekend’s main attraction – the GT3 and GT4 championship teams.

The garage areas in the central paddock were certainly a little more high tech, with screens full of graphs, lap times and temperatures mounted to the walls of the make-shift workshops. Teams of engineers were huddled around the displays and technicians and support staff were working at a similar pace to the cars on the track. It was quite incredible to see.

Paul providing technial advice and support on-site for the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK team.

Paul providing technical advice and support on-site for the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK team.

Working with the best

It is no coincidence that these world class speed machines rely on the very best hardware components, and cars that go this fast also need to slow down just as quickly. This leads us on to the braking systems, the reason for Paul’s all-access pass, and the role of Bremsen Technik Motorsport as an industry leading expert in high performance braking products.

BTUK Motorsport isn’t just a supplier of the world’s top brake component manufacturers such as Brembo and Pagid, but we also provide in-depth technical knowledge, expertise and bespoke design and system development – and that includes the vast majority of race teams within the British GT Championship, who use various components from brands that we promote and supply.

However, relationships for the individual teams are tricky to summarise as we often provide the braking systems (high performance brake kits, calipers, discs and pads) through different channels. This could be direct supplied to the team itself, indirectly through sub-dealers and even through a vehicle manufacturer. Despite all this, the end-result is the same – Paul was there to provide on-site support, troubleshoot problems and help assist with any technical issues the teams may be facing. This meant getting down into the pit, seeking out race engineers and team principals, finding out the team’s challenges and providing a solution – not an easy task to accomplish in a relatively short space of time!

Race highlights from the opening weekend are now available online.

Results that matter!

Although our involvement came to an end before race day – the hard work had been achieved during qualifying and practice sessions – making sure the teams were content with their braking performance and everything was looking good for the main event.
 
4,000 fans were allowed trackside for the final day of the opening race, and GT4 and GT3 teams put on a fantastic display of driver competence backed by hours and hours of behind- the-scenes preparation.
 
In the GT4 race, Century Motorsport’s Will Burns and Gus Burton in their BMW M4 GT4 enjoyed a perfect season opener by securing a well-deserved victory, even if it took a late dose of drama to get the job done. The pair – 2020 Ginetta GT4 Supercup title rivals – only inherited the lead inside the final minutes after a puncture in the race-leader’s Ginetta forced a pit stop. However, it was perhaps the result the duo truly deserved after suffering their own dose of misfortune in the early stages.
 
Meanwhile in the GT3 category, WPI Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan, driven by Michael Igoe and Phil Keen made the most of their front row grid slot by initially tracking and then passing Beechdean AMR’s Aston Martin Vantage which had converted their pole position into an early lead.
 
Both races were full of excitement, drama and action; everything you would expect from the top rung of British motorsport. And the icing on the cake? We had a full sweep of winners across both the GT3 and GT4 podiums, with four customers using Brembo Racing components and two further top three finishers that were equipped with Pagid Racing brake pads. To take it further, BTUK supplied 7 of the top 10 GT4 teams and 8 out of the top ten GT3 teams. Not a bad weekend’s work!
 
We’ll be heading down to Silverstone later this month, where we’ll see even more cars on the grid, so will be sure to keep you updated with a post event review.

Images courtesy of the British GT website.

The Bremsen Technik Group of companies