Malvern makes mark at Brands Hatch
PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 September 2015
Barkingside racer sets lap record in finale
It proved to be a frustrating weekend for Barkingside’s Scott Malvern and race partner Nick Jones in the final round of the UK Radical Endurance Championship at Brands Hatch.
Malvern had to console himself with claiming an emphatic pole position in qualifying, almost half a second faster than any of his rivals, and setting the three fastest laps of the race.
He also set a new lap record on the Grand Prix circuit of just over one minute and 25 seconds, which is faster than the British Superbike lap record.
But having qualified the Kevin Mills Racing Radical SR3 in first place in cloudy and threatening conditions, the team elected to give Jones the opening stint of the 90-minute endurance race.
Unfortunately he was involved in an off-track excursion on the opening lap and dropped back to 11th place which was the position he held when he handed over to Malvern after just over 20 minutes.
Malvern then frustratingly had his progress severely impeded by Radical works driver and family member James Abbot, who put up a robust and at times questionable defence according to team officials, thwarting his every move to overtake, before he eventually cracked under the pressure.
Having forced a mistake from Abbot coming out of the Druids hairpin and completing a pass through Graham Hill bend, Malvern moved up to sixth place, with the race’s three fastest laps.
He added the lap record by the end of the action to ensure the team finished third in the series, but as the top Pro-Am pairing behind only two solo pro drivers.
Malvern said: “With hindsight I should’ve handled the first stint, but if the rain had come and there had been a safety car period we’d have lost out, so we gambled and came unstuck.
“It made little difference to the outcome of the championship. We really needed both Scott Mansell and Steve Burgess to have some bad luck and neither did. I think it’s wrong they allow solo pro drivers to compete and know I’d have beaten both of them if I’d driven solo as my results prove.
“But I’m proud we finished third overall and the top Pro-am pairing, realistically the best we could hope for. Nick has come on leaps and bounds and I hope we can keep the pairing together next year and move on to perhaps the British GT Championship”