Aliyyah Koloc climbs the learning curve at Brands Hatch
An up-and-down weekend which matched the profile of the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, United Kingdom. The latest round of the EuroNASCAR season was an important lesson for Aliyyah Koloc and the Buggyra MFT squad on just how small the margins in racing can be. Out of the four races contested, two caused disappointment and two produced celebrations. Koloc bounced back from her misfortune with a 12th place overall in the second EuroNASCAR 2 race, first in the lady class – in a field of 29 cars around the tight and twisty Indy circuit configuration.
“It has been a crazy weekend at Brands Hatch, Saturday was not an easy day because we had some struggles with the setup of the car, but Sunday was a lot better,” said Ludovic Pezé, Team Principal of Motors Formula Team, Buggyra’s partner in EuroNASCAR. “Aliyyah was a lot stronger on Sunday, the setup of the car was far better from a performance point of view. The atmosphere was amazing; we cannot wait to get to the next race of the season at Vallelunga.”
Aliyyah had been due to be joined at Brands Hatch by her twin sister, Yasmeen Koloc, but the latter was missing due to her ongoing recovery from injury. As a result, Aliyyah will be the sole family representative in EuroNASCAR for the foreseeable future.
Having taken her first Ladies Cup victory on her series debut at Valencia last time out, Koloc came into the Brands Hatch meeting looking to build on her promising start to the season in the UK.
The weekend began well for Aliyyah, who set a 12th best time in the second practice. She qualified 25th on the grid, her combined time just over a second slower than the overall fastest.
In the opening race, Aliyyah kept out of trouble at the start and made progress to run as high as 17th in the early stages. She eventually dropped to 24th by the finish. The second race barely got going for Aliyyah, as she got caught up in an unfortunate incident on the eighth lap of 38. An innocent bystander, Aliyyah had nowhere to go on the main straight as a rival spun in front of her.
Aliyyah enjoyed a positive qualifying, which meant she lined up 17th for the pair of NASCAR 2 races. She was in the mix at the start of the first race, before a trip through the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend cost her a few positions. A technical problem then brought her Ford to a halt just after the safety car restart.
Things were better in the second race, with Aliyyah making progress from the back of the grid after repairs were required to her car to come home a respectable 12th at the finish. “The race was really crazy, the guys finished the car last-minute…like, really last-minute, so I had to start from the pits,” said Aliyyah Koloc post-race.
“So, I started last, but I managed to overtake a lot of cars before the safety car. And then at the restart, it was a bit tricky because people were braking, and I don’t know why. But it was a really fun race; the mechanics did such an amazing job fixing the car.”
The next race for Aliyyah will be the EuroNASCAR race at Vallelunga, Italy, on July 9-10.