Brands Hatch, Sunday: Former Barber Dodge Champion Derek Hill, son of the 1961 World Champion Phil Hill, had little joy on Sunday in the Formula Palmer Audi double header on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Very dusty track conditions in both ...
Brands Hatch, Sunday: Former Barber Dodge Champion Derek Hill, son of the 1961 World Champion Phil Hill, had little joy on Sunday in the Formula Palmer Audi double header on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
Very dusty track conditions in both qualifying sessions left very narrow windows in which quick times could be recorded. This coupled with tyres which are only at their premium for three or four laps caught out Hill. In addition he had mechanical problems in the first session giving him less than ten minutes track time and he was only able to qualify for race one in 23rd place, 1.3 secs off the pole time. In qualifying for race two he was 15th, just 0.3 secs off the pole. As ever in this ultra-competitive series, fractions of a second make the difference between the front and back half of the grid.
In the first of the two events Hill made a good start from the rear of the grid but overtaking on the tricky 1.3 mile track is always difficult and a mid-race clash with a rival he was trying to overtake as they accelerated from the Druids Hairpin, saw him slide into the barrier and out of the race.
His Van Diemen built 260 bhp Palmer Audi racer was repaired for the second race and this time Hill stayed out of trouble to eventually finish in 17th place - just 10.5 secs behind the winner - some indication of how close and tight the races are.
In two weeks time Hill competes with his father in the Goodwood revival meeting where he will drive an AC Cobra, a week later is the penultimate Formula Palmer fixture, another double - header at the Oulton Park circuit, a track Hill has yet to visit. He's hoping the new circuit may bring a switch in his fortunes.