The MINI Challenge returned to Brands Hatch for the fifth round of the season. Here is our race report.
"RDMCS 10 – Round 5 Race Report" table of contents
Following two rather disappointing races, STAX Racing driver Jazz Forsberg was highly motivated to finish in the points on the second visit in Brands Hatch.
Things were looking good when he qualified in 12th position and even gained another place in the second lap. Rather atypically for a touring car race, Jazz’ first few laps were rather quiet. By lap 7, he had gained a few seconds on the cars behind him while there was a gap of a few seconds to the cars in front. As Jazz went into the 15th lap, John Souter slowly but surely closed the gap to Jazz and, in lap 17, a battle started that should wage for most of the race. In the following laps, the two MINI drivers showed some good fights for positions which only ended when Jazz understeered out off Hawthorns Bend. However, two laps later, Souter made an error in Graham Hill Bend and Jazz was right behind him once again. After taking advantage of the slipstream on the Hawthorn Hill straight, Jazz was able to pass his opponent on the outside going into Hawthorns Bend. The two drivers continued to fight hard but fair. Souton was able to pass the French STAX Racing driver going into Druids Bend, however his corner exit was compromised and Forsberg was able to retake that position immediately. This fight went on for a few more laps and got even more exciting when Steve Le Gallez joined the battle for positions.
Jazz’ race got more difficult when, on lap 33, he understeered out of Hawthorns Bend again. This time, he made contact with the barrier and lost a position. To add insult to injury, he now had a bent suspension and, in the following laps, lost around 1.5 seconds per lap to the guys behind him. Yapci Zamora was able to close the gap to Jazz, who himself was able to gain time on Le Gallez in front of him despite struggling to keep the car on a straight line.
When Enzo Fazzi retired on Lap 38, Jazz gained another position. In the closing stages of the race, him and Zamora found themselves in a battle for 12th place: Zamora was able to pass Jazz on Lap 42, but the Frenchman was able to follow his opponent closely and passed him one lap later. On the last lap, Zamora passed Jazz again in Druids Bend. In the end, Forsberg finished in P13, matching his best finish this season and ending a three race run of non-points scoring finishes.
Jazz said the following after the race:
“I am very happy to score some points for the team again! I made an error on the pit stop, forgetting to not change my rear tyres which cost me about seven seconds and I lost three positions due to the accident afterwards. It would have been amazing to finish in the Top Ten, but I gave my best and those points are a very sweet reward.”
On the next page, you can find a gallery of screenshots, the broadcast and Jazz’ onboard video of the race. On page 3, you can find the complete race results of the race. The last round of the season will be held on Feb 17th, 2017. It will take place in Oulton Park.