Ed Brand Eases Into Euro Championship LeadTweet
Victory in the forests of Bavaria gave Formula K Europe’s Ed Brand a narrow lead over his closest title rival in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge, at Wackersdorf last weekend (12/13 May).
Not that he had enjoyed an easy ride to his eventual triumph. In timed qualifying he was, by his own standards, “off the pace” and could only record the 14th-fastest lap.
“I don’t know what happened. I didn’t drive well. It was my own fault,” he said with characteristic honesty, adding: “I went faster (by three tenths of a second) in the first heat than I had done in qualifying!”
He finished 4th in that race before taking a brace of runner-up positions and a win. This was sufficient to give him pole position for Sunday’s pre-final. Scott had qualified seven places behind him, but would quickly charge up the order to challenge Ed for the race win.
It became a close-fought affair with Brand not quite able to catch his rival’s pace and subsequently he settled for 2nd and a hatful of valuable championship points. Once out of Parc Ferme, he decided to make some crucial adjustments to the Formula K chassis but was unable to alter the questionable driving standards, as he explained: “We made a few changes ahead of the main final, but at the start I was hit from behind. This allowed Harrison and Philip Morin to get away and left me fighting to regain track position. I managed to reel them in and, after passing Morin, caught Scott.”
Ed tracked his prey and seeing his chance pounced: “He made a mistake in the chicane and I closed in from a kart-length behind. I passed him as we braked for the next corner. From there I just got my head down and drove away. I won by eight tenths of a second, so it wasn’t majorly close at the finish but it was close enough!”
He added: “I’m leading by two points, so it is not a comfortable gap. I’ve got to keep pushing on. The series goes to Sweden (the Asum Ring at Kristianstad) for the first time for round three. We’re not testing there beforehand, but hopefully I’ll be as fast as normal. We’ll just rock up and see how we do on the day.”
Acknowledging the contribution from his team and partners, Ed said: “I would like to thank Martin Blom and Martyn Reuvers of Formula K Europe, Nigel Horner of HRS and my principle sponsor, Brands of Watford.”
Ed continues the defence of his national Super One title in the second round of the UK-based championship (25/26 May) at the stunning Glan Y Gors circuit in North Wales. He is the current points-leader.