Brandon shows Dutch of class

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HAWICK race ace Hamish Brandon blitzed his way to a treble of sceond places at Zandvoort.

The British Mini Challenge driver made the most of tricky wet conditions in testing on the Dutch track to secure second place on the Cooper Class grid for the opening race, and although always on the pace, Hamish believed he had a puncture, so tried to nurse the car home, and did a superb job in fending off all-comers to keep his place on the second step of the podium.

The weather played its part in race two as early rain forced a number of runners onto wet tyres, but Hamish gambled with the conditions. He knew the sea breeze would dry the track quickly and went with slicks, as did championship leader Shane Stoney. Hamish battled to hang on to the car early on, but the gamble paid off as the track dried and he blasted his way into a second second place for the weekend.

Then he added his third podium for the weekend – this time with the fastest lap and the Cooper Class lap record.

Hamish told the Hawick News: “I got off to a flier in testing – the track just seemed to suit me from the start. It is fast and flowing and, surprisingly, up and down for Holland.

“I was really pleased with how the first race went – we worked out the strategy and made it work. I have never been to Zandvoort before but we got as much out of that race as we could.

“The rain comes in very quickly so you have to react. The second race came after some heavy rain, but we went for slicks. It was a great call from the team because the track came to me during the race. I just got stronger as the race went on.

“The reverse grid in race three meant I started from fifth. I got a good start and was up to third when the safety car came out. I held my place and the guy ahead got a 30-second penalty for jumping the start, so that was another second place.

“That was a major haul of points – three second places and two fastest laps. I have built up the gap to third place. Shane has a buffer, but there is still a slim chance that I can catch him.

“We head into Donington with it all to do, but I am not giving anything up. While there is a chance, I will be pushing as hard as I can.”