It has been a while since my last post and a lot has happened in that time. I have had two more race weekends. I have had additional commitments made by sponsors. Tash and I have even got ourselves a pet unicorn.
On Track Shenanigans
Since my first outing at Silverstone back in March, I found myself at Snetterton in April and travelled back to Northamptonshire in May. Snetterton was preceded by a day of getting used to the car and honing my craft with the help of Brian and the team. I had learned in this weekend that it is incredibly beneficial to get out in the car right before any race weekend. I found myself battling a lot further up the grid this time round. Up the inside, round the outside and ended up in a lofty 29th place. A far cry from finishing 2nd from last in my first ever race in March. The progress from Silverstone to Snetterton was staring at me right in the face; a huge jump in places at the finish line.
The weekend at Silverstone was a disjointed one. There were logistical nightmares and long car journeys leading into the weekend, with minimal sleep, which meant the preparation from my side wasn’t the best. This is what happens when you agree to drive your brother to and from a concert, and covid messes around with plans, delaying the gig by two years, causing a clash in weekend plans! With that in mind, Friday’s testing was always going to be tricky with the predicted weather forecast. I battled heavy rain in the morning as I tried my best to learn about the track. The biggest challenge was overcoming my lack of experience in the wet. It was invaluable spending time driving in the wet, although ultimately making no difference to my racing on Saturday. The testing time on Friday helped me understand where I was mentally as a driver and I certainly walked away from the morning session’s a better driver. As Friday afternoon progressed, the track dried and I was able to really start pushing my boundaries. I was able to really feel like I was making some visible progress and my times started to reflect that. With some video analysis in the evening, I was feeling well prepared for a Saturday of racing.
Silverstone Race Day
I was trackside bright and early on Saturday morning for what promised to be a hectic day. It was my first ever “one day event” and was unaware of what to expect. All I knew was that it was going to be a lot of racing in a very short space of time. Qualifying got underway in the ordinary fashion. As I let the faster cars file past me and found myself a nice gap I begun to push and start looking for lap times. It was right at the start of only on my second flying lap when I arrived at Copse corner to see a big cloud of dust and a car buried within the tyre barrier. Red flags instantly. We were back into the pits. By the time the stricken car was recovered we’d been notified that the session had been cut short and we would only have 10 minutes to go and set a representative time. And so we set off. 10 minutes was by no means long enough to get into a groove and I found myself struggling for grip but still I qualified 32nd out of 43. This to me demonstrated another big stride forward. Race 1 came around quickly and before long I was lined up on the grid. We set off and I was incredibly reserved through the first number of corners as I tried to avoid the inevitable dramas that would ensue at Maggots and Becketts. There was progress to be made once everything had settled down. I found myself in a bit of a scrap between 3 other racers and we were trading places for a couple of laps. We were just over 10 minutes into the lap when we found ourselves 3 wide heading into Copse corner, Ben (#112) started to slide, I tried to miss him and by taking evasive action ended up backwards in the gravel. With the help of the marshals I was on my way again but I was now about 30 seconds off the car in front and only had 15 or so minutes to go and catch up.
In between Snetterton and Silverstone I was able to take the time to speak to Michelle Reilly, our CEO at 6CATS and give a run down of how my season had panned out so far and how the rest of it was poised to take shape. It is clear to me that we are all as excited as each other to see how far this journey will continue. Michelle agreed that 6CATS would continue to support me in order to keep my dream alive and to keep the 6CATS logo firmly present on the car. It is an incredible feeling knowing that I have the full support of Michelle and the team at 6CATS and it has made this transition to racing life so much easier! I cannot thank everyone at 6CATS enough for their ongoing support of this incredible story.
Off Track Shenanigans
My attention is now fully focused on Brands Hatch and maximising my home advantage there. I cannot wait to see so many familiar faces and get the weekend started in style!