Alice Hughes tries out a VW at the Team Hard track day

Alice with Howard by Red Lime Photography

Alice with Howard by Red Lime PhotographyAfter testing the Mini Challenge JCW class car at Snetterton, Alice Hughes was on the look out for another car to test and so she headed to Kent last weekend for a special track day. Over to Alice

Team HARD were host to an excellent track day down at brands hatch last Saturday. Everywhere you looked, there were cheek to cheek smiles ranging from the guests, to the team mates and instructors.

The ‘Kent fog’ postponed the start time of the track day but this allowed the guests to speak and get to know one another over complimentary teas, coffees and bacon sandwiches supplied by the team (Yum!)

Brands hatch is definitely one of my favourite circuits here in the UK. The ‘belly up’ sensation of practically flying down paddock hill bend is a feeling you won’t soon forget! I first raced at Brands Hatch for the Mini Festival in the Mighty Minis championship last year which was the weekend when I decided going down paddock hill bend sideways wasn’t the fastest route. My bad!

The first session was cold so we had all on getting some heat into the tyres. With it being quite slippery on track, the team made a very wise decision to stick wet tyres on the rear. This actually resulted in a quicker lap time than being on full slicks due to the conditions.

Another new factor to me on the day was getting the chance to experience a left hand drive car. Heading down the pit lane for the first time all seemed very daunting, however I was assured by my instructor, BTCC and VW Cup driver Howard Fuller, that once I was out on circuit you couldn’t even tell! In fact I found I preferred the left hand drive car as there was a lot more vision out of the windscreen to hit apexes on the clockwise circuit of Brands hatch.

The power delivery to the VW golf was similar to my 750MC Class A Hot Hatch Fiesta so it was interesting to drive and I learnt a lot in a short time!

Alice heads out by Red Lime Photography Alice on track by Red Lime Photography




As I Headed into my second 15-minute session, I knew a lot more about the characteristics of the car meaning I pushed the car to its limits, being inches from the gravel trap at the bottom of paddock every lap. With the tuition I received from Howard, I managed to set some promising lap times!

I’d like to thank Carl Syres from Red Lime for travelling a 500 mile round trip to support me and capture the day behind his camera, David Boor of team Hard for being extremely welcoming and helpful on the day, and last but not least my instructor Howard Fuller, for giving me honest and genuine advice on track, filling me with confidence.

Last but not least, thank you to all of Team HARD for putting together such a great experience.

I’d definitely recommend it! By Alice Hughes

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