|Ed Brand added further luster to an already glittering reputation after delivering a superb performance in the final round of the Euro Max Challenge, at Genk last weekend (4/5 September). The 16-year old had travelled to the Belgian track with high hopes of further success after winning the penultimate round in Austria (17/18 July). But his performance perhaps surprised even himself after he took the title battle right down to the very last race of the series, when he won the pre-final.|
The Kalman Motorsport driver signalled his intent right from the outset after a strong timed qualifying session saw him in touch with his main rivals by setting the sixth fastest lap before taking 3rd, 5th and 2nd finishes in the preliminary heats to secure fourth place on the grid for the first of Sunday’s two crucial finals.
“That first final was one of the toughest I have ever had,” Ed commented after his victory. “There were four karts, including me, fighting for the lead throughout. I was sitting in third and wanted that position to give me third place on the grid and therefore the vital inside line for the main final. It all got a bit scrappy and the driver in second went for a move on the leader and had a bit of a coming together. I saw my chance and took the win.”
With entry into both the inaugural Rotax International Open race to be held at the Spanish circuit of Zuera in October and December’s World Finals at the superb La Conca circuit in Puglia, southern Italy at stake, Ed knew that he didn’t need to win the second final to secure his passage to the two events and consequently produced a mature, thinking drive.
“I could afford to finish two positions behind the Dutch driver Mats van den Brand and still take 2nd in the championship. This took the pressure off me a little and so, after leading for a few laps, I allowed myself to be overtaken by several karts rather than defend and risk a crash. Sure enough, I watched as the new leaders began to fight and they eventually collided. It was like ‘Boom! Thankyou very much, I’ll take 3rd.”
It was a patient and intelligent move that successfully saw him return to the podium and complete his maiden year in the senior ranks on a high, which he acknowledged afterwards “This has been an exciting season for me and it was great to finish it in the same way that I signed off my junior career – as Euro Max Vice-Champion. To achieve back-to-back results in different categories is very special and down to the hard work of my team Kalman Motorsport, HRS Engines and the important support I receive from companies such as Freem UK, Brands of Watford and Vogel and Noot radiators, who make my racing and success possible.”
This weekend sees Ed preparing for the final round of the British Super 1 championship (18/19 September), by competing in the Rotax Cup at the fast Three Sisters circuit near Wigan in Lancashire this Sunday (12 September).
Keep up to speed with Ed’s racing career by visiting www.edbrandracing.net