Seconds out as Borders driver Brandon shines in Oulton sun

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DETERMINED Hamish Brandon produced a stunning show in the sunshine at Oulton Park to keep the pressure on at the top of the Mini Challenge championships.

Brandon, from Hawick, proved he had the talent to make the jump from the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup by taking Cooper driver-of-the-day spoils last time out on the Indy circuit at Brands Hatch – a meeting that included three podiums and his first win in the Mini Challenge.

But he wanted to show that the result was no one-off, and achieved that in style with two superb second places at Oulton last weekend.

Brandon turned in an excellent qualifying run, putting him second on the grid by less than a 10th of a second to championship leader Shane Stoney, and seven-tenths ahead of their nearest challenger. He then piled on the pressure in the first 20-minute race, taking the fastest lap and went on to clinch a battling second place in heatwave conditions.

The reverse grid format of race two meant that the Teri started fifth. He was down in seventh at one point in the race, but kept calm and a string of hot laps and passing moves got him up to second by the end.

Brandon told TheSouthern: “I am delighted. They were both tough races and I had to work very hard for these results.

“The Excelr8 guys did an excellent job on the set-up on the car to cope with the incredible heat.

“It was 38 degrees out there at one point.

“I also got the lap record to add to the one I got at Brands. That is a great double for me, particularly as this year I’m on a big learning curve with most of the circuits.

“It was important to me to show that I could build on Brands and I think Pandamonium Racing, running under the Excelr8 banner, has really opened people’s eyes. I am very pleased with this, but I now have to build on it again.”

Last weekend’s results mean Brandon moved up to second in the title race and he is now looking forward to another good weekend at Castle Combe on August 3.