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Having taken his maiden Radical Challenge victory last time out at Donington Park, hopes were high for Jerome De Sadeleer to add to his podium tally at Brands Hatch. Qualifying went fairly well, with De Sadeleer third best, only 0.503 seconds off pole. “I had assumed Steve Burgess would be quick, so I latched onto him – and he was definitely quick. But I’m confident that I have enough race pace,” he said. 360 Racing teammate Martin Verity felt less confident. “Well, I made it around, but I was a bit all over the place and too hard on the brakes,” he admitted. The first race started well, as De Sadeleer joined Burgess and Dominik Jackson in an immediate three-car break. The gaps stayed fairly constant until the end of lap eight, when De Sadeleer closed in on Jackson’s second place after Burgess increased his lead. They held station, but Jackson was held up by a backmarker into Stirlings on the last lap and gave De Sadeleer a chance. “I got alongside out of the corner and just nosed ahead into Clearways. But I was on the outside, and as he moved over we made contact,” he explained after his race came to an abrupt end in the tyre wall. Verity had been unable to find the pace he sought after qualifying and came home a disappointing 14th. “It felt as if I was going better than that, until I saw my in-car footage,” he said.

With De Sadeleer’s car restored to its pristine condition by the Silverstone-based 360 Racing crew, he took up his third place on the grid and made a good start. “Burgess was bogged down and I was into second as we came through Paddock Hill, but then got a tap on the rear corner and I was off,” he explained. He re-joined almost last, but made rapid progress and by lap five teammate Verity was in his sights as part of a five-car train for ninth. A lap later, De Sadeleer was into the top 10, with Verity directly behind him and both closing in on Mark Hignett. De Sadeleer was through on lap seven and took Peter Tyler a lap later for eighth. “It was good coming through, but I had the pace to do a lot better,” he said, disappointed. Verity continued in the fight behind his teammate and just missed out on the top 10. “I had a terrible start but then people began to fall off and I got the places back. I enjoyed the race though, being so close and competitive,” he said. The 40-minute Enduro brought the weekend to a conclusion, with De Sadeleer back on the third row of the rolling start. He was fifth out of the first corner and held that position until he ran wide at Druids on lap eight, allowing Kristian Jeffrey to go through. Having pitted from a solid sixth, his success penalty pitstop brought him back out in seventh and chasing Spencer Bourne, whom he usurped on lap 20, shortly before a safety car intervention. From the green flag there was only two minutes on the clock, but in his pursuit of Jackson for fifth, he touched a kerb exiting Clearways on the penultimate lap and dropped to eighth. “I couldn’t have done better than fifth. The car was OK but maybe I should have put more pressure on before the safety car. But then I touched the kerb going wide and lost the places,” he explained. Verity was in another lengthy battle, but having looked set for 12th, he lost out to Stuart Moseley after the safety car and received a 30-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane, which dropped him to 15th. ‍ Published by Peter Scherer for 360 Racing on May 21st 2018

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