Brands Hatch is one of the most popular tracks in the country, both for spectating, racing and track-daying. If you’re heading there to drive, you’ll probably be interested in knowing what a good lap time is. In this article we’ll look at the Brands Hatch lap record for both the Indy and GP tracks, and also at some other very respectable lap times.
what is a good lap time at Brands Hatch ?
A good lap time at Brands Hatch is… different for everyone.
The answer to this question depends entirely on what car you are driving. Obviously a good lap time around Brands Hatch Indy in a Citreon C1 is going to be way, way, waaaay slower than a good lap time in a 911 GT3 RS.
It also depends a lot on your experience as a driver, both at the circuit and with your car. If you’re a veteran track day goer and can boast that you’ve done every circuit in the country at least 3 times then you should be closer to the ultimate potential of your car than someone who is taking to the track for the very first time. If you’re a racer and have done countless testing sessions at Brands then hopefully you’re nearing the car’s limit.
To give us an idea of some representative laps, let’s check out some Brands Hatch lap times from various race series.
Brands Hatch lap times - Indy circuit
All the lap times below are set in the dry and on the current version of the circuit, since Graham Hill Bend was last changed in 1999.
In 2022 the BTCC entered the hybrid drivetrain era, giving the drivers a certain amount of electric boost to use each lap. Brands Indy was only the second event on the 2022 calendar so the drivers were still figuring out how best to use it, but lap times and records from previous years were already falling.
The fastest lap set in qualifying was a 47.54 second lap in a BMW 330e by Colin Turkington.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB
The intensely competitive Carrera Cup GB series has been part of the TOCA race day package for many years, following the BTCC circus around the country. In 2022 they used the 992 model of GT3 Cup car and visited Brands Hatch Indy in June.
The fastest lap set in qualifying was a 45.15 second lap, a couple of seconds quicker than the BTCC cars and making this the fastest Carrera Cup GB lap of Brands Indy ever recorded.
The Time Attack series is just for one-lap heroes who all strive to set the fastest single lap for their car type. The classes range from standard road cars right up to no-limit track specials.
The outright Brands Hatch lap record for Time Attack at the Indy circuit was set by a highly tuned, very far from standard Mitsubishi Evo 6 in 2015 in the Pro Extreme class, with a 45.04 second lap time.
Amazingly this is a couple of seconds faster than the BTCC cars and a tenth of a second quicker than the lap record for a Porsche Carrera Cup car at Brands Indy.
The full list of each Brands Hatch lap record for all Time Attack classes can be found here.
The BMW Minis have seen more and more use as track cars over the years. Now, the Mini Challenge is one of the official support series to the BTCC and the series has got bigger and bigger, and has become fiercely competitive.
The fastest lap time set in Mini Challenge qualifying in 2022 at Brands Indy was a 50.18 second lap.
Ford KA 'EnduroKA' Series
Let’s start with the slowest race series out there. The EnduroKA series uses the original 69bhp Ford KAs, stripped out and with some sticky semi-slicks and puts a field of 50 or so of them against each other for 4, 5, or 6 hour races, sometimes longer. In November 2022 they raced at Brands Hatch Indy for the ‘IndyKA 500’.
The fastest lap set in qualifying before the race was a 1:03.24.
Clio Sport Championship
The Mk2 and Mk3 Clios saw some of the most gritty and door-banging racing ever when they were used in the official Clio Cup races supporting the BTCC in the TOCA package. Over the last few years the 172, 182, 197 and 200 models have found a new home in the the Clio Sport Championship. In 2022 they visited Brands Hatch Indy in August.
The fastest lap set in qualifying was a Clio 200 with a 56.12 second lap.
Kumho BMW Championship
The Kumho BMW series is a chance for a number of different types of Beemers to get on track together. The sharp end of the field is always dominated by guys in their E36 or E46 M3s, with lap times that serve as a good marker for anyone taking their M3 on a track day.
The fastest lap time in the 2022 Kumho BMW series at Brands Hatch was set by an E46 M3 with a 49.89 second lap.
Brands Hatch lap times - GP circuit
The GP circuit is used much less frequently throughout the year than the Indy circuit, normally only for a select few of the headline Brands Hatch events. Series like the EnduroKA and Clio Sport championships don’t get to race on it. Below are a lap times from a select few series that do run on the GP layout.
All the lap times below are set in the dry.
The fastest lap time in qualifying in 2022 was set by Tom Ingram in his Hyundai i30N with a 1:29.53 second lap time.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Fastest lap time set during qualifying in 2022 was a 1:25.36.
The extra power of the Porsches comes in to its own on the longer GP circuit and they are around 4 seconds faster than the BTCC cars over a full lap.
The same series as shown above, supporting the BTCC package but this time on the awesome corners of the GP track.
The fastest lap time set during qualifying was a 1:35.11 second lap.
British Superbike Championship
The BSB championship is the leading motorbike series in the UK, attracting huge crows at every circuit they visit. They raced at Brands GP on two different occasions in 2022, each time with two qualifying sessions. The lap time below is the fastest across all four sessions.
The fastest qualifying lap was a 1:24.43, just over a second faster than the best Porsche Cup car lap time.
Brands Hatch GT3 lap times
There are two different championships in which GT3 cars race at Brands Hatch. The British GT Championship and the GT World Challenge. The smaller Indy circuit is not a good fit for the 500 to 600bhp GT3 cars with huge aero and downforce, so they only race at the faster GP circuit.
In 2022 the British GT championship grid consisted of McLaren 720S’, BMW M4s, Mercedes AMGs, Porsche 911s and Lamborghini Huracans, all in GT3 spec race attire.
The fastest lap in the British GTs in 2022 was set in the second session of qualifying by one of the Lamborghinis driven by Alex Malykhin and James Dorlin, with a 1:22.97 second lap time.
The GT World challenge guys managed to go a little faster. Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaele Marciello set a fastest lap of 1:21.37 in the second round of qualifying in a Mercedes AMG. His lap is at 51:06 in the video above.
This is the not the official Brands Hatch lap record for a GT3 car as it wasn’t set during a race, but I believe it to be the fastest overall GT3 lap of Brands GP in recent years (in fact I couldn’t find a faster one… ever!)
Their lap time is over a second and a half better than the fastest British GT lap. I can only assume conditions were better for the GT World Challenge guys as they were there at a different time of year.
The Mercedes lap time is also just over 3 seconds fastest than the quickest British Superbike lap time. The downforce on the GT3 cars accounts for most of that time difference.
Brands Hatch lap record
Despite listing some of the fastest cars, bikes and championships to race at Brands Hatch, we still haven’t got to the fastest laps ever. Let’s have a look at the lap records for both circuits.
Indy Circuit Record
The official Brands Hatch lap record on the Indy Circuit was set by Scott Mansell, Driver61 himself, in a Benetton B197 F1 car during a EuroBoss race in 2004.
He set a lap time of 38.032 seconds which is still the Indy circuit lap record, even to this day.
Importantly this lap time was set during a race as that is when official lap records are counted. But it is not the fastest lap ever at the Indy circuit.
The fastest lap ever was set by Paul Tracy in the CART / Champ Car World Series when he visited Brands Hatch in 2003. He set a lap time of 37.006 seconds during qualifying, over a second faster than Scott’s lap time. But this was set during qualifying, so does not officially count as the lap record.
In fact, the standings for that CART qualifying session shows the top 14 drivers all managed to go faster than Scott Mansell’s lap record time.
And let’s give an honourable mention to the Porsche 919 Evo, the un-hinged ex-Le Mans racer with the boost turned up to 11. The 919 has smashed the Nurburgring and Spa lap records by a long way. It visited Brands Hatch just to complete some demo runs, and on non-optimal tyres with a chassis and drivetrain setup not configured for the circuit it managed a 38.16 second lap.
Nick Tandy, the driver, said that if they were actually going for outright lap pace he thought they could have got that time down by 1 to 2 seconds. Bye bye lap record if that ever happens.
GP Circuit Record
The official Brand Hatch lap record on the GP circuit was set by Adam Carroll in 2009 during the now defunct A1 GP series, the ‘World Cup of Motorsport’.
Adam was driving for Team Ireland and in the sprint race that weekend he set a lap time of 1:12.28 seconds which still stands to this day.
This is almost 10 seconds quicker than the best GT3 lap time around here. It just shows how incredible these Formula-1 style cars are, even on a relatively short lap.
who has the fastest lap at Brands Hatch GP?
Nigel Mansell (not related to Scott!) set the fastest ever race lap of the Brands Hatch GP circuit. In 1986 back when the F1 circus held its last ever meeting at Brands Hatch, driving his Williams FW11, he did a 1:09.59 second lap time during a race.
Nelson Piquet set the overall fastest lap during qualifying with a 1:06.963 second lap time around the GP circuit. This is the fastest GP circuit lap ever.
However, the GP circuit was subsequently remodelled in 1988 and then again in 2003, both times dramatically changing Dingle Dell corner amongst other parts of the track. As such, neither Piquet or Mansell’s lap times can be counted as a lap record now, but at the time they were.