Brand takes the championship lead

Ed Brand in action. Picture courtesy of Bas Kaligis
Ed Brand in action. Picture courtesy of Bas Kaligis

A VICTORY in the forests of Bavaria has given Dagnall karting star Ed Brand a narrow lead over his closest title rival in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge.

Just two points separate Brand from Essex’s Harrison Scott after the latest race, which took place at Wackersdorf.

And despite his eventual triumph, it was no stroll in the park for 17-year-old Brand.

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

Not one to dwell on disappointment, however, Brand picked himself up and drove three tenths of a second faster in the first heat than he had done in qualifying.

He finished fourth in that race, before taking a brace of runner-up positions and a win, which was sufficient to give him pole position for Sunday’s pre-final.

Scott, meanwhile, had qualified seven places behind him, but would quickly charge up the order to challenge Brand for the race win.

It became a close-fought affair, with Brand not quite able to catch the Althorne-based driver’s pace, and he was made to settle for second place and a hatful of valuable championship points.

It was then time for the main final, and Brand was targeting victory.

“We made a few changes ahead of the main final, but at the start I was hit from behind,” he said.

This allowed Scott 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 Harrison.”

Brand tracked his prey and, seeing his chance, pounced. “He made a mistake in the chicane and I closed in from a kart-length behind,” he said.

“I passed him as we braked for the next corner and, 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.”