My final heat is, on paper, the hardest of them all.
Back on the standard circuit (just two hours after I finish my third round race), I meet Mathias Grooten and Annelien Boutens for the second time this championship.
I will also be racing Matt Bartsch, fourth place overall in the championship last year, and Sebastian Raikkonen for the second time in two years but I had very different fortunes with both of these drivers last year… Arnaud Tinet also returns to BRKC; I last raced him in round two in 2015 and I’m hoping, with my added experience, I may be able to challenge him for position this time around.
Writing this, I am having difficulty making my prediction for the heat winner; with the level of competitors in this field, it will come down to who qualifies best and manages to hold their nerve through the twenty minutes of racing and the all-important pit stop!
Predicted heat winner: Matt Bartsch (but could be any one from five!)
On Sunday, I will be up early for the second race of the day, again on the alternate circuit. I will be racing four of the same drivers that I lined up against in 2016; David Longman, Ramon Pineiro, Ben Churchill and Tyler Mays.
I seem to remember being in a close battle with Ben Churchill in round three last year; that time he got the better of me, but I’m determined to put that right this time around!
There are some very good drivers in this heat; Ryan Smith made it through to the semi finals last year and David and Ramon just missed out, but in my eyes, the one to watch in his return to BRKC is Mathias Grooten, who won all of his heats in BRKC 2015 and narrowly missed out on a podium position in the final.
On to round two, and the brand new alternate circuit, which we will have to watch the first five heats and get as much information as possible from the drivers in those races to try to get the upper hand here.
In this heat, I meet the one driver that I have raced in both of my previous two championships, Robin Kassam. Both of the two previous occasions have been in round three and on the standard circuit. Robin currently leads 2-0 in this battle, but I am determined to at least make a fight of it this time! Also in this heat are Regis Gosselin (a finalist in last year’s BRKC), Jacob Lewis and Chris Machell, all of whom I raced last year. Last year, I managed to do the double over Chris, but I’m sure it won’t be easy to do the same this year!
I’ll be the first to admit that I have had problems with alternate circuits in previous years, but hopefully this year will be different with more experience and hopefully a clearer mind.
My BRKC2017 championship begins with an interesting heat including three drivers who I have raced in previous championships; Kyle Power from round three of 2015, Annelien Boutens from round three of 2016 and Mason Bates from round four (also last year).
I have never beaten these particular drivers in the championship before; in 2015, Kyle finished three places ahead of me, Annelien won our heat in 2016, whilst I finished in seventh position, and in my final heat last year, I finished three places behind Mason. It’s not all doom and gloom though; last year, I finished just one point behind Mason overall in the championship.
There are also some very good drivers that I haven’t met in my BRKC journey yet: Sander De Baets (who finished 24th overall last year), Craig McCallister (39th), Steve Gray (43rd) and Anne d’Hondt (51st) as well as a couple of unknown entities in this heat.
Happy New Year to all of my readers! First, an apology. Due to life being so hectic in the second half of 2016, I have somewhat neglected this site, but I will be backfilling the posts that I have missed over the next few months – there’s another trophy in my cabinet to tell you all about!
Secondly, and seemingly out of nowhere, came the #BRKC2017 draw on the evening of Saturday 14th January. This, like the previous two years, was my first opportunity to find out who I would be facing in the first four rounds of this year’s championship. I waited patiently for my name to be called and eventually (I was the 53rd driver pulled out of the bowl) I could see how my heats were lining up. However, with the heat dispersal system, only after the last driver was drawn were all of the heats finalised.
The image below shows the full draw (with my races highlighted). Each day this week, I will focus on one of my races, starting with Round One, Heat Six tomorrow!