|Perhaps inspired by a trip to Monaco to watch the Grand Prix the weekend before, Ed Brand delivered a gutsy performance to keep the pressure on his rivals for the European Rotax Max Junior crown, last weekend (30/31 May).|
Competing for the first time at the splendidly named Kart Planet circuit at Busca, Piedmont in northern Italy - with the still snow-capped Italian Alps in the background - Ed got off to a nervy start during timed qualifying.
“I went out too early. Another class had been on track prior to mine and they use different tyres. The DD2 karts had laid down a different type of rubber on the surface of the circuit - I should have waited for other karts to clean that up and lay down the right sort of grip for my class. As it was I just slid around on the DD2 stuff.”
Knowing that he would have to produce some fireworks in his heats if he was to qualify well for the first of the two finals, Ed didn’t disappoint. He finished second in the first race, and recovered brilliantly from being punted off the track in the following race to claim tenth at the chequered flag.
Disaster struck in his third and last heat, when a crash forced him out of the race. This put him down in 23rd place in the intermediate classification before the finals, and would be his corresponding grid position for the pre-final. The HRS driver then delivered a gritty, tigering drive through the order in sweltering heat (over 35°C) to finish in a creditable 7th place.
Picking off two places in the opening lap, Ed briefly held fourth spot before being demoted down to seventh in what was becoming a terrific scrap between the top eight drivers. On lap nine, Ed jumped up to third place - and held onto it in the remaining seven laps.
He said “I’m happy although I felt that I could have perhaps won but third is no disgrace. I’m fourth overall in the points and the quality of the field is excellent. You never get an easy race”.
He added, “To go to a circuit I’ve never seen before and fight my way from 23rd to 3rd, return home with silverware and vital championship points - well that’s pretty much job-done, I’d say.”
Ed returns to domestic racing duties over the weekend of the 13/14 June, when he will compete at the challenging Buckmore Park circuit in Kent. Just twelve points off the series lead, he is confident that he will be challenging for victory on race day.
In the interim, you can discover more about Ed and his career, by visiting www.edbrandracing.net