Piston broke is no joke for Ed Brand

Engine failure denies Brand podium finish

Reigning Super One Rotax champion Ed Brand was in the box seat to take a vital Super One championship podium finish at Rowrah last Sunday (16 June) when his engine let go just three laps from home.  The Protrain Racing star needed to demonstrate all his trademark grit and determination in order to overcome a less than perfect start to his weekend.

By his own standards, a lacklustre timed qualifying session left him down the order in 16th place overall, as he explains: “I hadn’t been there for a year and simply rocked up for Friday practice. During (pre-event) testing my speed wasn’t too bad, but when it came to qualifying I lost a bit of that early pace.”

He and his team were then left scratching their heads when he finished 12th in the first of his two heats. However, their mood was lifted when he crossed the line in 6th position and had rediscovered his previously missing ‘waft’.

With the two heat scores added together, Ed had earned 11th place on the starting grid for Sunday’s pre-final.

“I got my head down and chipped away to get up to 3rd place,” he said, adding: “I also set the fastest lap, so it all went really well and was pointing forward for the main final.”

However, in the feature race he made a sluggish getaway on the start-line and lost several places. This prompted an instant fight back from the Formula K driver who was able to quickly re-take 3rd spot and challenge the two front-runners.

“I was right on the tail of my team-mate Charlie Eastwood and the race leader Sean Babington with three laps to go, and then suddenly, the engine went pop.”

Brand coasted off the circuit and into instant retirement from the race with a snapped piston. “If it had just lasted three more minutes, my engine would have been taken off the kart and given a full rebuild,” he rued. “Thankfully, I’m still 4th overall in the points and it is very close at the top. Hopefully the rest of the season will go to plan.”

Ed won’t have long to wait and see; he returns to action in a fortnight’s time when the Super One series moves to Larkhall in Lanarkshire for round five.

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