Race Report - Brands Hatch - 1st May 2011

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Darren had high expectations for the start of the season hoping to take the next step to consistent overall race finishes. Brands Hatch is the circuit the Nippon Challenge visited as the last event in 2010 so he was hoping that familiarity would be a positive performance enhancement.

The day was a brilliantly warm and sunny day and with sign on and scrutineering out of the way it was time to take to the track for qualifying after noise check. The new exhaust system passed with flying colours at 99db!


Qualifying was a very busy time for all with a large amount of traffic being encountered. Darren took time to warm the brakes and tyres, which were taking part in their last session as they were at the limit. The Swift of Andy McLennon was let past on lap three and Darren tagged on to the rear of him. Darren managed to keep pace with the Swift and on lap 8 set the 2nd fastest time overall but traffic ruined the next lap. With some clear air between himself and the Swift Darren set about a fast lap, only to suffer gearbox failure at Graham Hill bend, limping slowly to the recovery trucks at the entrance of the pits.

Darren was disappointed with the failure after over a season of reliability from his work horse and for the first time getting on the front row on Merit rather than others misfortunes.

The car is now in the hands of sposnors Arden Bridge Services to asses the damage and it is looking like the next round at Castle Coombe will have to be dropped.

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About Darren Hughes

  • Darren has previously helped prepare racing cars for his friend Karen for the MR2 Challenge and Nippon Challenge series. This will be his forth season in racing having successfully completed three years with excellent results in 2010 and narrowly missing out on the title. In 2012 Darren was forced to take a break from racing due to budget constraints but this year he will be competing again in the same race series, sponsored by Arden Bridge Subaru and will be looking to take the top step of the podium regularly.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Darren's preparations and his progress throughout the season.

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