|The end result won’t tell the full story. The post-race reports will simply show that Junior Max star, Ed Brand finished two laps down, in 24th place, in last Sunday’s Kart Masters Grand Final (2 August). But it was what he had achieved beforehand that underlined his considerable talent.|
British Super 1 Junior Max Championship leader, Ed had been invited by HRS Motorsport to switch class and sample their CRG KT100 outfit, and he jumped at the chance. It was a further mark of their faith in his abilities that he had not been asked to make his KF debut at a club event, but in front of thousands of spectators at one of British karting’s biggest meetings. And nor did he test beforehand, Ed simply arrived at the Lincolnshire circuit on Friday morning and set up his kart from there.
Considering his lack of experience, Brand did remarkably well to qualify in 7th place overall in a close-fought session. In his two heats, Ed took 5th and 3rd-place finishes, putting him 3rd on the grid for Sunday’s first final.
Seconds into the opening lap, Ed’s was one four karts abreast going into the second hairpin - and something had to give. The inevitable collision bent his steering and although he limped on, he retired soon after.
More drama was to follow at the start of the Grand Final. A large crash left a large section of the field stranded on the track with damaged karts and produced red flags. Ed was far from happy. Having predicted that this might happen, he had moved to the outside line through the first corner, before cutting back to the inside, avoiding all the incidents, to move from 21st to 5th, by the time he exited the first hairpin.
With the Clerk of the Course deciding to allow the damaged karts to be repaired and the original grid order to stand, all his good work had been undone.
Ed got another superb getaway from the line in the re-run and was up to 12th place by lap seven - but a puncture forced him to dart into the pits. He found the nearest air-line, re-inflated the tyre and re-joined the race.
“It was typical, Ed” said his father Mark, dryly. “He said, ‘I’ve paid for this race, so I’m going to finish it’ and he did. Albeit two laps down at the chequered [flag].”
Ed commented, “In Parc Ferme, and the paddock generally, a lot of people came up to me and congratulated me on my overall performance. I enjoyed the weekend, it was all just a bit of fun but what I was able to achieve was quite good.”
He added, “Tristram [Oman, boss of HRS Motorsport] was pleased with me and told me that I’ve proved that I can switch class and compete with the regular front-runners. I had a very short learning curve, but adapted quickly and delivered. I’m pleased to have re-paid him and the team for this opportunity. The KT100 chassis was fantastic too.”
Ed will now return to the Junior Rotax category and his bid to lift the British and Euro Max crowns.
For more information about Ed and his career, click on www.edbrandracing.net