Team Viking used the perfect strategy this weekend at Brands Hatch, which saw them climb the rankings to second place and put themselves in with a chance of winning the Championship.
Drivers Mark Holme and Nick Nunn started strongly in Friday’s testing session, setting fast laps and consistent times. “We knew we had the pace early on,” said Holme, who is also the Team Manager. “So we decided to preserve the car for the race – there was no point just driving round for longer than we needed.”
In Qualifying, both Holme and Nunn posted quick times that saw them fifth on the timesheet. However, the draw for Qualifying was again not kind to the team in car 110, and they were 15th on the grid for the four-hour race.
The Brands Hatch Indy Circuit is a very tight track, with very little room for overtaking. It’s a short circuit as well, meaning it’s hard for the frontrunners to break away from the pack; it’s where a good strategy can work in your favour.
As the race started, Nunn stayed calm and stuck to the strategy. Within the first few laps the Championship leaders, Team Honeywell and Sherardize, both spun out and lost a lot of places, meaning that if Team Viking could keep pushing, they would be able to score well.
There were plenty of incidents throughout the race, but Viking were unscathed and bought their car home in 4th. But, it was a tough race for the two drivers.
“We were always in traffic,” said Holme. “It was hard to pull away so we played the long game. For a long time in the race we hovered between 7th and 14th.”
Holme and Nunn decided that the best way to continue would be to weigh up each overtake with risk and reward: “We knew we were racing for a Championship place, which is a position we’ve never been in in our four years of racing,” said Holme. “We worked out that if we got caught in traffic and it was within our ‘pit window’ we would pit in and change drivers, and this worked out well for us,” explained Holme.
In the closing laps, there was a chance that Team Viking were going to lose their fourth place: Dominos in car 110 were catching Holme, who was driving the last stint. However, Dominos spun on some spilt fluid and couldn’t catch them, giving Team Viking a clean run to finish fourth.
Team Viking now sit second in the Championship, just 11 points off the leader with one race remaining – the four-hour race at Donington Park on 20 October –giving them their best chance of winning the Championship since they started competing.