Nicole Drought’s incredible 2023 season continued last weekend at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. Having taken a recent EnduroKA win at Oulton Park, the Tipperary racer was invited to join Justin Roberts in the EBC Brakes Honda Civic to tackle the MSVR Trackday Trophy. This race would take place on the Saturday afternoon, whilst on Sunday, Nicole rejoined her Pro-AM Racing team to chase the honours in the 8 hour EnduroKA race too.
The weekend started well for Nicole as she dominated the early stages of qualifying in the Civic. In damp conditions, she was on provisional pole by two seconds for the first fifteen minutes. It was only in the dying minutes of qualifying, with the track drying, that another competitor snatched pole position away, and only by .013 of a second. In the race, Nicole drove around the outside of the polesitting Clio Cup car to grab the lead at Paddock Hill bend. She immediately eased away and was almost two seconds clear before a spinning car ended up in the gravel, necessitating a Safety Car intervention and bunching the field back up.
Jack Goes, who had qualified third, moved up to second and after the safety car restart, Nicole and he were well clear of the rest. Unfortunately for Nicole though, she was sent wide while lapping a slower car allowing Gowes to pass them both. Nicole fought back, as did Justin when he took over the car for his second stint, but second it was for the Honda at the flag. Not a bad class debut for Nicole, contiinung her reputation for winning trophies in a wide variety of different cars.
Celebrations were muted though, as Nicole and her Pro-AM team had a big challenge ahead on the following day. They concentrated on car setup in qualifying and ended up in thirteenth position on the forty car grid. As the race started though, Nicole was taken away to the circuit medical centre with suspected food poisioning. The team carried on and had moved towards the front before a recovered Nicole arrived back in the garage. Having convinced everyone she was ok to drive, she climbed abourd the number 12 and began to scythe towards the front. At half distance, she took the lead, driving around the outside of former British Rally and Rallycross Champion Jonny Milner to start what would be a fantastic scrap for almost two hours. At the end of her lengthy stint, Nicole pitted, still in the lead, and handed over to her team mates. All four drivers did a superb job and with a handful of laps to go, Scott Thompson retook the lead and went on to take the chequered flag, making it three EnduroKA wins for the team in 2023, and two for Nicole!
Nicole Drought: “What a weekend! I had felt a bit unwell on the run up to the event but once I was in the cars, the adrenalin made it all go away. The Civic was so much fun and we could have won that race, only for a bit of bad luck. Big thanks to Justin for inviting me to drive it. Pro-AM, as ever, were fantastic. Car, team and strategy were top class. It is great to be part of something as well run as that, and I had three really strong team mates too. We were always going to be hard to beat!
As ever, a big thanks to my sponsors who make all this possible. Gem Oils, ITM Digital, Joe Mallon Motors and Siltex Safety.”
Header Image- Nicole leads the pack at Brands Hatch in the EBC Brakes Honda Civic. Credit- Mark Lees