|After winning the British Open and Super 1 titles and finishing a close second in the European championship, Ed Brand added third place in last Saturday’s Rotax Max World Finals to his impressive haul of trophies in 2009 at the Ghibli Raceway, at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt.|
All season long, the HRS Motorsport driver has been a front-runner and at the desert circuit located near the shores of the Red Sea, it was no different.
Having started the event with the third fastest lap in timed qualifying (out of 72 drivers), Ed then won each of his three heats to earn pole position for the pre-final. A canny second place finish in that race gave him the preferred outside line for the Grand Final itself.
“Unusually, the outside row of the grid gave you a better entry line into the first corner, provided that you got a decent start, which I managed to do.”
Ed led the thirty-four strong field across the start/finish line at the end of the first lap, and from there held the advantage for the next eighteen. However, the impressive Ukyo Sasahara from Japan had kept a close watching brief on the Englishman, waiting for a mistake.
Just two laps from the chequered flag, Brand pushed too hard into a corner and the Japanese dived down his inside, edged him onto the marbles, also allowing fellow Brit Matt Parry through.
“I’m disappointed not to have won,” Ed reflected back home in Hertfordshire. “But if I’d started at the back and driven through the pack to finish third, I’d be delighted. So on reflection, third place is a good result.”
Ed’s father Mark was equally philosophical, “The Japanese lad drove remarkably well. Ed made a slight mistake and Ukyo went for it. That’s racing, that’s life,” he shrugged. HRS boss Tristram Oman agreed, saying “We got a top three and that’s no disgrace at all.”
With the paddock thronged with journalists and TV crews, Ed’s performances throughout the week-long event turned him into something of a celebrity – “Everywhere I went there was a camera shoved in my face” – and led to offers from race organisers to demonstrate his talents in selected international events.
Ed has to rely on sponsorship to keep him racing and he acknowledges the support he receives from his family’s firm of plumbers merchants and their suppliers, he says “I would like to thank Brands of Watford, radiator company, Vogel and Noot and Contact Electrical (Watford). Without their help, I would not be able to achieve anywhere near the sort of success I have enjoyed this year.”
He added, “I would also to say a big, big ‘thankyou’ to Tristram and Nigel (Horner) of HRS for their incredible hard work, help and support throughout the season. They’re a great team, have designed a monster kart in the CRG Dark Knight, and played a massive part in my most successful season yet.”
Learn more about Ed’s career and fortunes on the track, by visiting www.edbrandracing.net