Video: GT3’s HUGE Tank-Slapper at Brands Hatch

The descent into Brands Hatch’s Paddock Bend is not for the faint of heart. It begins at the end of a very long straight, and the entry is both blind and off-camber. Thankfully, there’s a good amount of runoff, but with a descent that’s more rollercoaster than racetrack, it can get the best of the most experienced track rats.

The cresting approach leaves the apex unsighted, even when approaching from the top of the hill. For most the temptation is to turn in early, and this almost always ends up in understeer out towards the dirty portion beside the curb. According to Evo’s guide to the course, the key is to “aim at for an apex just out of sight to the right, then drive the car towards it. A little practice and you’ll find you can keep your foot hard in it while first the apex comes sweeping towards you, followed by the exit kerb – which you can just rub with the two outside wheels and listen to the satisfying rasp from the ripples in the concrete.”

As BTCC champion Andrew Jordan notes, Paddock Bend is about “braking late and it’s about trailing off the brake as much as possible and carrying as much speed as you can in, but also getting a good exit, because then it goes steeply uphill.” The approach requires a delicate touch then, but with the rear-engined antics of Porsche’s beloved 996 GT3, it’s always just a few pounds of pedal pressure away from embarrassment.

The 996 GT3 always bordered on the edge of a big snap, as seen here.

Jordan advises the eager driver “to brake a little bit earlier and not as hard so you carry more speed mid-corner,” but that doesn’t seem to help this Porschephile on a bold lap. His braking appears somewhat relaxed, and as the road falls away from him while the rear remains unweighted, it snaps away violently.

Though he controls it in a calm fashion, the look he gives his passenger suggests that it gave him serious pause.

 

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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