Brands Hatch Test and Crash

February 17th, 2011 by alisonpepler.

We tested at Brands Hatch on Friday 4th February. The weather was good, track was dry and car was running at it’s best. A few drivers came along to test the car. First out was Keith Robinson, overall Britcar winner 2010 and the winner of the 24hr race. He normally drives a Ferrari GT2. Out he went for a few laps… 50 laps later he came in to the pits with a silly grin on his face. (see his report below). I went out and done a few laps with¬† very good friend of mine, Paul Sculfor. He seemed impressed as wellBefore I could see who else was going out in the car, it had gone… Guess what Keith was back out for another 20 odd laps. After Lunch Partick Buss went out for a while and also seemed impressed. (See his report below) Near the end of the day another potential customer took the car out. He seemed to have a moment coming down the straight, locked up all the wheels and drove in to the barrier on the inside of Paddock hill bend, the car span round and dug into the grass sideways, still carrying a lot of speed the car then flipped over. I am very pleased to say the driver was shaken but unhurt, not a mark on him. The marshalls were also great and we managed to get the car back to the pits and on to the trailer to inspect the damage. To our surprise the car seemed in very good shape, plenty of damage to the plastic panels, but the main safety cell was untouched apart from a few cosmetic dents. About ¬£3,500 worth of damage. We are now repairing the car and will have it back on track in about 2 weeks.

“I was very surprised just how fast the smart car felt,especially as the last time out at brands was in the Ferrari GT2. What surprised me most was the braking, you could really slow the car down followed by a very positive turn in. Also the change of direction for example through Surtees flat then dab on the brakes and then positive turn in for clearways. This car is not only for people starting out in racing i would say its for everyone, its all about having fun and it can be a stepping stone for many formulas of motorsport. One last thing it has a lovely exhaust note and thats something we need in British motorsport as many cars are missing that nice rasp exhaust note

Also the smart is very well balanced and great fun to drive as I covered around seventy laps.

The smart has a lot of space inside much more than people think, and after the car had an unfortunate accident the safety cell of the car was completely untouched.

Had a great time in the car and had a big smile on my face when i got out the car, so remember the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy your racing. When you stop enjoying racing that’s a sign to stop, but with the smart you will be grinning every time you get out of it.”

Keith Robinson – Current Britcar Champion and Britcar 24hr Winner.

“The Smarts 4 You race car is an exciting little beast, of that there is no doubt. It is a relatively easy car to drive but a tricky one to get the absolute best out of. It will provide a great ‘single make’ make racer due to it’s diminutive size and appetite for slip streaming (a large frontal area is to thank for that). Overall it is a car that provides enough of a challenge for both the novice and experienced racer and puts a huge grin on your face!”

My thoughts post accident: “I have seen many race cars dig in to the grass and roll in similar circumstances to that which the Smart racer was subject to, but I don’t believe I have seen one survive as structurally straight. A multiple roll and no visible chassis distortion or cracking – incredible!”

Patrick Buss – Formula Ford 1600 and was a front runner in the Golf GTI Championship.

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