Bond fastest, Young crashes in wet free practice ahead of Brands Hatch title decider

Jamie Bond set the fastest time of all in the Renault UK Clio Cup’s two test sessions on Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix circuit today which ended with an off for championship leader Jack Young.
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  • Young-01.jpg (7)
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Both sessions were held in wet conditions; both were disrupted by red flag stoppages.

MRM’s Nathan Edwards and Westbourne Motorsport’s Finlay Robinson fell foul of the conditions in the opening session – the former’s car ending up on its side at Clearways Bend.

It was in this session that the very best times of the day were set with Team HARD driver Bond achieving the fastest lap of all in one minute, 50.127 seconds – albeit some 20 seconds off the lap record due to the tricky track conditions.

MRM’s Young was second, just 0.069s adrift, and HARD’s Ethan Hammerton third, 0.177s off the top spot.

Hammerton caused the first red flag of the second session when his car crunched into the barriers at Paddock Hill Bend.

It was at the same bend with just minutes left on the clock that Young’s MRM car also became stranded, but without damage.

This was after he had set what would stand as the best time of the session, just ahead of his chief title rival, Team HARD’s Max Coates and Bond in third.

Young goes into this weekend’s two races – the final rounds of the 2019 season – leading the standings by 15 points from Coates. Bond, in third, is 46 behind with only a maximum of 56 to be had.

Race one at 15:45 tomorrow will be live-streamed by ITV (CLICK HERE).

Race two at 12:45 on Sunday will be televised LIVE on ITV4 as well as live-streamed on the ITV Hub. This will be the last ever race for the Renault UK Clio Cup which, after appearing alongside the British Touring Car Championship since 2000, is ending this weekend.

Young, 18 today, commented: “I’m quite confident about our form going into tomorrow.

“I’d prefer it to stay wet. I’m feeling quite laid back about the weekend – it’s Max’s challenge instead of ours. We’ve got quite a nice lead and he has to do all the work.

“A third and a second in the two races will be enough for the title but I’d prefer to win it with a victory. But I’m not going to do anything stupid and throw it away. If I have to cruise then I’ll cruise.”

Coates said: “We’ve got a few tenths to find but I’m confident we know where that time is.

“Jack’s made a couple of mistakes today so let’s see if he makes some more tomorrow and Sunday. I’m feeling confident we’ve got good pace whether it’s wet, dry or mixed conditions.”

Bond added: “We spent the second session bedding in tyres and brakes and when we did have a go at the end I was 6/10ths of a second up but then there were red flags for Jack’s off.

“Fastest in FP1… it’s good to know we’ve got pace. All we can do is go all out for the wins and see what Jack and Max do.”

Leading combined times, free practice, Brands Hatch Grand Prix:
1. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), 1m50.127s (79.54mph)
2. Jack Young (MRM), +0.069s
3. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +0.177s
4. Max Coates (Team HARD), +0.756s
5. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.151s
6. Jade Edwards (Assetto Motorsport), +1.177s
CLICK HERE for full times including sector analysis.