Ed BrandSecond place was enough to give Ed Brand his first British karting title at the PFi circuit in Lincolnshire last Sunday (20 September).

The Coles Racing driver had gone into the British Super 1 series’ Junior Max title-decider at the top of the points table, but knew that he could not afford any slip-ups at this crucial stage of the championship.

If he was calm beforehand, his nerves were jangling after timed qualifying. The circuit’s electronic timing failed to pick up the signal from the transponder on Ed’s kart and recorded no time, forcing him to start the two heats from the back of the grid.

A determined and gritty performance saw him start from 22nd place on the grid and carve his way up the order to cross the finishing line in 9th place – setting the fastest lap on the way. What made this drive special was the fact that Brand had started well, passing seven karts by the time he had exited the first corner, but then found a spun kart directly in front of him. With nowhere to go, Ed had to come to a stop and wait for the kart to move out of his way. Now in last place, he got going again and began his remarkable ascendancy into the top 10.

An even more impressive drive in the following heat saw Ed power his way from the back of the field, all the way to 2nd position. Many seasoned team owners put aside their rivalry and went to congratulate Ed’s father Mark on his son’s performance. Mark explained, “John Davis [of Force] came up to me and said, ‘In 10 years of racing, that was the best drive I have ever seen’.” The MSA’s Alan Bryant also commented, “That was very, very good. He didn’t touch anyone. It was perfect driving.”

Ed’s heat finishes earned him a 3rd row start for the first of Sunday’s two all-important finals – the points for which would go towards his championship score. From the start, he quickly passed two karts to assume 4th place. A lap later he was into 3rd and with 15 laps to go, moved into 2nd spot. He then caught the leader but knowing that his good friend, Lee Napolitano was not in the running for the championship, Ed maturely opted to settle for the runner-up position rather than risk a crash going for the lead and in doing so, clinched his first British Super 1 crown.

Afterwards he said, “To be honest, I’m more relieved than anything. Naturally, I’m delighted to have won and finally lose the ‘bridesmaid’ tag I seemed to have acquired [after finishing second in the Junior TKM and Rotax categories in the previous two years]. This is the result of a lot of hard work and I’m hoping that we can now go onto this weekend’s [26/27 September] British Open Championship [AKA the ‘O’ Plate] at Shenington [in Oxfordshire] and add that trophy to my collection. It would be a fantastic way to finish off what has been an amazing year.”

He added, “I would like to thank Adrian and Mike at Coles Racing, Tristram and Nigel at HRS Motorsport, my sponsor, Chris at Vogel and Noot Radiators, plus of course mum, dad and my sister Libby. Oh, and John and William Priest, who got me into all this!”

In addition to becoming the 2009 British Super 1 Junior Rotax champion, Ed won the international Rotax Winter Cup in February and just two weeks ago became the Euro Junior Max vice-champion – all on the CRG Dark Knight chassis and with HRS-tuned engines.

Keep to speed with Ed’s career and fortunes on the track, visit www.edbrandracing.net.

Photo by Graham Smith/TSR Productions