25th Jun, 2019

Bromsgrove racer Cater left frustrated with two DNFs at Brands Hatch

DESPITE showing some great race pace at the second round of the Ravenol Formula Vee Championship at Brands Hatch, Bromsgrove racer James Cater failed to finish.

In a rare chance to race on the full GP layout in Kent, James took to a slippery track in the heavy rain to qualify.

With not even a lap complete the safety car had to be called out and the conditions were so bad drivers even had problems staying on the track behind the safety car.

James felt good on the restart with his new-found wet weather confidence, despite getting fourth gear wheel spin on the main straight, and tried to tag onto the back of some faster cars.

Unfortunately, the tricky conditions caught him out as he got on the power too early at Paddock Hill bend, going into the gravel at high speed and getting stuck just as another car hit the barriers.

This incident brought the safety car out once more and despite the short end to the session, James qualified in 18th and 16th place respectively for the two races.

However, the frustrations continued as gearbox problems on the green flag lap of race one meant starting from the pit lane.

The problems returned after a few laps and forced retirement, having lost third and fourth gears.

The only saving grace was the problem was a tiny nut on the gear linkage which had worked loose so the car would be fine for the second race.

With the conditions worsening again for the second race, and almost being cancelled, James made a good start and was running well in 13th place and looking for a strong podium in Class B.

But disaster struck at Paddock Hill once again as the rear wheels locked up on the entry and despite some frantic steering work the car ended up sideways in the gravel.

Unable to restart the car, this mean a second DNF for the weekend.

James said: “There is a lot of work to do to clean the gravel and dirt off the car ready for Croft Circuit at the end of May.

“There are fears that it may have been an engine issue causing the rear wheels to lock, but we’re hopeful that it would not restart due to a flat battery rather than anything more serious.

“It’s a shame that we had to come away from our first meeting sporting Primrose Hospice sponsorship with such poor results.”

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