After a bit of a break from competitive driving, it was a trip down to Brands Hatch last Thursday to take part in one of Sevenoaks MC grass autotests. These are short, fun tests run in one of the grass car parks at the back of Brands Hatch.
It was about a year since my last grass autotest, so at first I was a little rusty but you never really forget how to abuse the handbrake. You get two runs at the tests with the best times to count. Due to the rather wet weather recently, there was still a lot of grass on the field, this made grip at a real premium however this seemed to suit my driving style as it leveled out any power / car disadvantages. The courses were fun, with only two with any reversing, and even these were simple.
It did take a little to get used to autotesting with ABS, and stability control which couldn’t be turned off in the car. This did lead to a couple of moments, including stalling twice as I got used to feeling what the front wheels are doing with the ABS in action.
The night is really quite fast paced, as there is a limit of 8pm on the venue for noise, so you are constantly moving from one test to another. This is good though as it stops the more competitive types from trying to sandbag and wait until the end to get the most grip.
The second run of the tests, with more grip, and less grass on the ground it was harder to get the car to move around. This allowed others to close up the gap.
By the end of the night I was (provisionally, no final results are out yet) 7th in class and 16th overall out of more than 10 in class and 40 cars overall.