2021 So far
A delayed start to 2021 proceedings, thanks to Covid-19.
Moving into Sports Prototypes with a drive in the Juno supported by RJ Motorsport, the first race was an “in at the deep end” type of event.
I had done one test session at Silverstone GP in the Juno on the Thursday before the qualifying and race for the Sports Prototype Cup.
I was to be learning how to drive the car, with Aero, on a circuit I am not very familiar with, mixing it with two LMP3 cars, a load of Radicals and of course the Revolution A-One cup cars.
Qualifying went OK, qualified 4th.
Race 1 started OK with me running in my qualifying position of 4th, until I made an unforced error, I clipped the corner of Beckets just tiny bit too tight, I clipped the front corner of the splitter on the apex “sausage” which broke a body clip.
The front body work lifted and upset the aerodynamics generating drag and understeer. Lesson learned and frantic fixing before race two.
Race two went much better with a 4th place.
Next up, Silverstone again, this time on the National circuit with Zeo Proto.
Weather was mixed, it was promising to dry for race 1, so we fitted an old set of worn wet tyres. The weather didn’t play ball and rained, I went backwards from 4th to 6th.
Race two was damp, threatening rain, so we selected another set of old but unused wet tyres. Using old tyres simply due to available funds meant I was going to be limited in performance but its all I had.
Again the weather decided otherwise and actually started to dry.
I got a great start and leapt from 4th on the grid to second, by had to concede to Mike Jenvey at Copse and chase him in third.
Duncan Williams made an error at Luffield in his Norma LMP3 car, allowing Mike and I to capitalise. Mike leading and me chasing. That is how we finished Mike first, me Second. A great result in only my second race weekend (and third drive of the car).
Next stop was Castle Combe.
I had not actually planned to do this race, but seemed a shame to miss out. So, with 5 cars in the RJ Motorsport stable, rain coming and going throughout the day, it was guaranteed to be a mixed race.
I was unable to do a test session before the race, so, yet another jump into the deep end at the committing Combe circuit.
Race 1 was certainly wet, at the start my view of proceedings was just only grey spray and rain against a grey track with a grey car in front of me. Going into Avon rise for the first time, I moved off the racing line, able to see the cars ahead and made my move. Soon took the lead and finished first.
Race 2 was going to be won or lost depending on tyre choice. Drizzle coming and going all afternoon, track looking black with no dry line, but the promise of brighter weather to the west.
With seconds to go before the start, I took a last second check of the track conditions from the pit wall and made my choice for slick tyres.
It was a good move, as soon as the lights went out and race underway, I felt confident on the Slicks and jumped straight into the lead, finishing with a 14 second gap to second place Andy Fido who chased well.
2020 Round up
What an odd year 2020 has been. Lockdown 1 gave me the longest time “holiday” I’ve ever had. Unfortunately that is an unpaid holiday of course.
But it did give me time to get the engine refitted to the Caterham.
The odd 2020 season kicked off with my first race for some time at Thruxton. This event was also used as a test and proving of the changes to the car.
Everything worked as it should and I got the Class Win and 5th overall.
Next event was my local circuit, Brands Hatch. A miss-fire developed as the race progressed, the miss-fire became quite problematic and felt like fuel starvation. Despite the fault, I achieved fastest lap of the race and took overall win. As always, great to get first place at the local circuit, with Northern Commercials watching from their Hospitality Suite, Taxave in attendance.
The miss-fire was caused by a spilt fuel hose within the tank, an easy fix.
On to Castle Combe.
Rain threatening and sure enough, it rained for the eventful race start. Tim Davis some how failed to get away cleanly when the lights went out and promptly got hit from behind by Teammate Colin Watson. Everyone kept moving and race got underway without delay.
Tricky slippery conditions, especially as the CSCC’s series regulations require us to race on road legal tyres, not racing wet tyres.
I found my rhythm and kept it clean until the race was red flagged when a car hit the barrier at Tower Corner. Unfortunately the race was not restarted due to the time needed to repair the barrier. This was really frustrating as I was making good progress and the restart had bunched the field up, giving me good potential to improve from my 5th place.
However, that is where we were classified, another Class Win and 5th overall.
Next came Mallory Park.
I last went round Mallory on a Yamaha R6 motorbike in the year 2000. Not exactly useful or up to date circuit knowledge. Despite that, I learned quick, qualified fourth, finished third on the podium behind some higher power cars, 1st in Class again.