Hamish takes Brands Hatch podium

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HAWICK’S Mini Challenge ace Hamish Brandon hit top gear at last weekend’s Brands Hatch festival.

Competing in front of around 7,500 spectators, Brandon lined up in second place on the grid in the first race, and a great start saw him opening up a lead of just over two seconds. Things were far from done and dusted, however, and an exciting encounter ensued as the cars behind tried to bridge the gap. Brandon still had the bit between his teeth, though, and held on for his first ever win.

Starting on pole in race two, Brandon enjoyed another excellent start and was soon around one second ahead.

The faster JCW class then began to lap Brandon and his fellow Mini Challenge competitors, and the Teri ended up being pushed wide and into second place. Battling hard throughout, Brandon crossed the line in second spot, but a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits meant he dropped back to third place.

The reverse grid format in race three saw Brandon starting in fourth, and yet another great start saw him leading by the end of the first lap.

After building a gap out in front, a bad accident with about eight minutes to go brought out the safety car, and with fellow competitors back onto his rear bumper, it was going to be a difficult last few laps.

And so it proved, with the last few laps a five-way battle, before Brandon made a bad exit at Clearways, which cost him the inside line and saw him dropping back into second place, where he finished despite doing everything he could to regain first spot. Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Brandon said: The Excelr8 team did a fantastic job all weekend and we work extremely well as a team. Huge thanks to Matt and Jake for their attention to detail on the car prep, it was 100 per cent all weekend. Also, Daniel for his input and set-up knowledge which got the car dialled in and handling as well as it did. Big thank you to Justina and everyone at Excelr8 and my family, friends and everyone who has helped us along the way. We’ve been working relentlessly to reach the top step and finally we’ve all made it happen.”

Next stop for Brandon is next month’s Oulton Park two-race meeting.