Maiden victory for Lay after he overcomes the elements

Julian Lay celebrates his victory on the podium at Brands Hatch for the Shipston-on-Stour based RAW Motorsports team. Photo: Oliver Read
Julian Lay celebrates his victory on the podium at Brands Hatch for the Shipston-on-Stour based RAW Motorsports team. Photo: Oliver Read

Julian Lay collected his first Radical SR1 Cup victory of the season at Brands Hatch.

The RAW Motorsports driver produced a determined drive in drying conditions and now lies third in the championship after the third round action at Brands Hatch.

Lay had qualified eighth for the opening race of the day, with Shipston-on-Stour team-mate Gavin McAlpine in 11th.

Lay made a fast start and by the end of the opening lap was into third place and threatening, before taking Shane Stoney for second a lap later.

With leader Ross Elliott going off on the main straight after only three laps, Lay was lucky to avoid him. Stoney went right and Lay went left, with two wheels on the grass.

Lay had the lead but they were nose to tail. His lead started to grow but in the closing laps traffic allowed Stoney to close, but at the flag he had enough in hand to take the win by 0.741 seconds.

Having lost ground at the start, McAlpine had clawed his way back to ninth place and closed on David Tagg’s eighth, before slipping back to 11th from lap eight.

Lay had made a reasonable start again in the second race, lying in seventh place, when the safety car came out with two cars off. His battle was for fourth place, which having finally breached Williams’ defence, was his from lap eight.

McAlpine had started 11th again and made three places on the opening lap. After chasing down Mark Tranter, he was seventh by lap 12 and continued to edge closer to Williams and a possible top six finish. Williams responded however in the closing laps and at the flag he was still 0.668 seconds away, so settled for a hard fought seventh.

Lay said: “Race one was my first time on the podium at all, and to have it come as a win is just amazing. I’m always quite comfortable in the wet and was hoping for rain as we were lining up

“But I didn’t expect a start like that, before I knew it I was third and then Ross [Elliott] went off in front of Shane [Stoney] and I and it gave me my chance. I started to struggle a bit at the end and could see Shane’s car getting bigger in my mirrors, but I just had to stay calm and hold on.

“Race two was less dramatic, but I still managed to make up a lot of places on the first lap. That helped no end in the Fangio Trophy points.”

The fourth round of the series is at Snetterton next month and Lay will be looking to close the gap on championship leader Stoney and second-placed Will Hunt. Lay trails Hunt by 18 points but Stoney well ahead in the championship.