So almost as if it was all a dream my first season pretending to be a racing driver is over, talk about all over in the blink of an eye, I wish my driving was that fast 🙂 Seriously though it really does feel like only the other day we were at the Autosport show in January signing on the dotted line to join the Radical SR1 Cup championship.
So how has it been? In all honestly it has been great fun but it has transpired that it is most definitely a lot harder in real life than it looks on the TV, I am no longer an arm chair critic when watching motorsport on TV 🙂
I really thought I would be a lot more competitive than I was and I think I really did underestimate the task at hand, I think the main issue was getting used to a downforce car, it really is a matter of how brave are you, I have no problem with acceleration and top speed but going into a blind corner at say 90 MPH really makes you take notice.
Saying all this once I got to Donington, the 2nd from last race meeting of the season, I felt like I was starting to get somewhere, even though the races were not the best in the build up I found some time and it felt like I made some progress, funnily enough it has turned out that I like chasing lap time, ie going for a fast lap but come the race I seem to loose some speed, maybe I’m more suited to hill climbing 🙂
And even though it is supposed to be fun it really does play with your head, you just can’t help but get caught up in it all and end up feeling really disappointed and down when you don’t perform too well where the reality should be that you should be buzzing from driving a racing car round some of the best racks in the UK, I guess it is just the competitive edge coming in.
Brands Hatch Report, The Fangio Title Up For Grabs.
So our season finished at Brands Hatch last weekend, another circuit I had never driven before, we were in the shorter Indy layout but we still had to deal with Paddock Hill bend which I was dreading before I got there, I had seen enough cars go off their over the years on TV, it looked terrifying, as it turned out I loved Brands, seemed to suit my driving, I guess other than paddock there are no balls out corners, it very much reminded me of a big go kart track.
So amazingly I arrived at Brands 9 points off the lead in the Fangio Cup, basically the old buggers cup for over 45′s, I was racing David Tagg for the title, basically if I could beat him in both races I could take the title by 1 point but to be fair David had been quicker than me all year so my expectations weren’t very high.
For the Friday test it was wet conditions which it turned out suited me and I was probably the most competitive I had been all year so roll on a wet Saturday race day I thought. So come Saturday morning Qualifying, which was wet, I out qualified David for both races so that was part 1 complete but I still felt David would out race me, what followed was a brilliant race where we were swapping positions and trading paintwork but in the end I beat David to close the gap to 4 points with 1 race left.
Unfortunately for me anyway, the track had totally dried for race 2 so my advantage in the wet was gone but we still had an epic race and we almost crossed the finish line together with me just 0.2 second behind David meaning that he deservedly won the title and I lost out by the smallest of margins but I actually was fine with it as I had 2 brilliant races that really were fit for a championship decider, at last it felt like I was really racing which meant I left Brands buzzing and ready to try again next year.
So congratulations to David for winning but I would like to say a massive thanks to our sponsors for supporting me this year, I’ll be coming round with my cap begging again soon for donations for next year 😉 but thanks again to Chord Electronics, PMC Speakers, Trilogy Audio, Naim Audio, Rega, Atlas Cables and HiFi Pig, also thanks to Daz at UPE Motorsport for being a top bloke and running my car all year and also for Tom Gladdis for trying to coach me, he must have the patience of a saint.
So looking back it was epic fun, scary, frustrating and disappointing all in at the same time, I guess that is the same for any sport though but only after 1 week I am gagging to get back out in the car again, roll on next year.