Roberts takes to Brands Hatch for Time Attack!
Tunerfest South at Brands Hatch was a hugely successful show for us here at Ramair last year and the expectation this year was even higher after the event organisers released record breaking booking figures for show’n’shine cars and competitors alike. We of course, couldn’t stand by and not get a piece of the action! So we enlisted the help of our favourite driver and good friend, Chris Roberts.
The BMW 135i was in for a new livery this week with Supreme Digital Print and the finish was second to none! after a quick pitstop at DaveFab to finalise some set-up tweaks to make the car TimeAttack worthy, Chris was in position to take to the track in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The first session was merely a warm up session where most drivers started off slow and gradually gained pace as they familiarised themselves with the track and conditions on the day, however, this wasn’t the case for Roberts as he set a blistering time in the first timed laps of the group and found himself as the fastest on track. Bradley in the BMW M3 and Bonnin in the EVO VII were both looking strong throughout the first session as the times began to tumble and it was evident that Roberts would be tussling for the lead throughout the day
Come the second session and it was really starting to heat up as all the drivers had got their race lines and laps put together and now it was time to put it all into practice. Roberts at this point was struggling with heat management and the 135i wasn’t giving him full boost. This lead to a slower than expected overall time and leaving Roberts and pit crew – Chris Beavan – to perform some minor changes to the car in between sessions.
Round 3 had one big twist, the heavens opened and a huge downpour completely changed the track and left the drivers to renegotiate the circuit’s racing line and the results were dramatic, whilst trying to lay down 550+ bhp on a racetrack in the rain, Roberts came a little hot into the final bend before the start finish straight and the BMW pirouetted into the gravel at some speed… Its safe to say those of us in the Ramair team who saw it happen instantly put hand to mouth in shock.
Luckily, Roberts being Roberts, he did not let this bother him or hold him back! After being dragged out the gravel and rescuing the car back to the pitlane the ‘de-clogging’ of stones from wheel arches, bumpers and splitter began as the final session came closer and closer.
Most people, even some racing drivers, after having an ‘off’ would need a little time to get back to full speed, but not this driver. Chris went out in the fourth and final session, as one of the final events of the day at the circuit and the time had allowed the track to dry and as he would say he ‘Absolutely sent it’ and put in some blistering times and finished up in second place whilst setting the highest speed trap recording at 105.6 mph compared to the next best speed at 98.2 mph.