Miles Rudman put mechanical misfortune and bad luck behind him at Brands Hatch this past weekend (May 6/7) to sign off the opening rounds of the Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM with a hard-fought victory.
Taking centre stage on the British Touring Car Championship support package in front of tens of thousands of spectators, the Team First4Vans driver had endured a torrid time behind the wheel before triumphing in what was a shortened grand final on Sunday.
Created this year as a standalone series to feature across three BTCC race meetings, the Elite Cup retained the traditional Legends format of running three races per day and deciding starting grids by ballot allocations.
Rudman – who is a three-time and reigning champion of the sister Legends Cars Championship – showed encouraging speed in his striking blue and yellow Se-Van during Friday’s second practice session, making him one to watch over the course of the weekend.
Unfortunately, Saturday would prove to be a day of wet weather frustration for the Store My Car Director as he found himself in strife.
Starting the day’s opening encounter from third place, Rudman had been in the mix for overall victory during the early stages of a frenetic contest until a trip through the Paddock Hill Bend gravel trap dropped him down the order.
Managing to rejoin the track, the 36-year-old was able to recover to tenth but that would be as good as it got as he would then find himself the innocent victim of a multi-car accident in race two before Saturday’s final was abandoned due to an incident.
Returning to a much drier and brighter 1.21-mile Indy circuit on Sunday, Rudman’s woes sadly continued as an oil leak scuppered his chances of a strong finish in races one and two.
Lining up on pole position for the final race of the weekend, the former Rookie Cup title winner maintained his lead for the opening four laps before another multi-car accident brought proceedings to an immediate close, leaving Rudman declared as the winner.
Miles Rudman: “It’s always nice to come away with a win however you want to win it on the track and not due to a red flag. Still, we’ll take it and I hope that everyone that got caught up in the incident is ok.
“Other than the win in that last race it has been a weekend to forget – I think that’s probably the best way to describe it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a race weekend go like that before where there was something going against me in every single session.
“We had a bit of an off in practice on Friday and that was just catalyst it seemed for everything else to go against us. We showed that we’ve got plenty of pace to run at the front of the field, we just need the cards to fall our way.
“I’ve got to say a big thank you to the whole Team First4Vans squad because they never dropped their heads and continued to chip away at it. We’ve got a bit of a break now before we’re back in action at Croft so we’ll reset and hopefully come back on top form.”
Croft Circuit provides the next stop on the calendar for the 2023 Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM, with Rounds 3 & 4 taking place at the North Yorkshire venue on July 29/30.