So, every aspect of what we do has been impacted by COVID-19. And for an aspiring race driver with a need for speed that’s very frustrating when you’ve been looking forward to your third season in the BRSCC MX-5 Championship. Faced with no chance of hitting the track for some months, what was I to do. Furloughed from my role at JZM Porsche, sitting at home watching some classic races on YouTube, how could I fill my time? Well, the plus side of cancelled race meetings is that the racing budget looks pretty healthy. And the savings on all those cancelled meetings got me thinking….
The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship 2020 will get underway on 21st March 2020. The first race weekend takes place at Silverstone, Northamptonshire and it will be the start of my third season in the Mazda MX-5 Mk1. But, before the racing can begin there is some work that needs to be done on the car… bodywork and in the workshop. You don’t compete in a year of competitive racing without picking up some wear and tear. Car Magic work their magic Having a car body repair specialist such as Car Magic, based in Chesham, as a sponsor is a real bonus for me. They’re always
With the BRSCC MX-5 Championship over for the season, it was time to pitch my skills in a mixed class race. The BRSCC Clubsport Trophy race, held on the Donington Park National circuit in Derby on October 19th 2019 provided the ideal opportunity. The BRSCC ClubSport Trophy is a new multi-class format of production car racing which allows drivers to share race cars, involving a compulsory pit stop and an optional change of driver. Wanting to test myself in a longer race, I opted to drive the whole race without a driver change. It’s a 45 minute race with a grid consisting of cars from
So, here they are… the boring (but not to me) details of my performance in the 2019 BRSCC MX-5 Championship. Not a bad performance for a second year in competitive racing. Rookie of the Year in 2018, and 8th in the 2019 Championship, competing in A races throughout the season. Target – a podium finish in an A race in 2020? BRANDS HATCH Grid Position Fastest lap Pts Qualifying 12 58.25 Race 1A 23 21 58.38 60 Race 2A 21 20 58.14 62 Race 3A 20 13 57.92 76 PEMBREY Grid Position Fastest lap Qualifying 7 01:16.0 Race 1A 14
Heading into the Oulton Park weekend, I felt quietly confident that I could find some good pace. A test day there, earlier in the year, gave me an idea of the pace I could achieve. But what was playing on my mind, was a feeling almost of regret. I realised that I hadn’t put enough effort and attention into some previous weekends, and that had definitely impacted my results. So, this weekend I aimed to change that. Testing… building confidence and qualifying in third The Friday test day was a good one. I focused on putting some good laps down and looking at the Vbox
Having done a test day at Snetterton earlier on in the year, I felt good going into the race weekend – a weekend which last year, saw my worst finishes. Snetterton, at the time was a track I never felt wholly confident on, which was really down to one sector of the track, sector 3. The awkward braking zones for Nelson and Murrays always seemed to throw me off, as it requires you to brake and turn at the same time, which is never a recommended thing to do. But after the first session in the morning on the Friday test day, I felt that
Anglesey Trac Mon, overlooking the Irish Sea and the Snowdonia, was the venue for Round 4 of the BRSCC MX-5 Championship 2019. The weekend started with a test day that didn’t necessarily go to plan. In the first three sessions of the day, I suffered four brake failures coming up to Rocket, at over 100mph. Now I like to think that I don’t often get scared when driving, but on those four occasions, it was a different story. On the last failure I ended pretty much on the straight between Rocket and Peel. I drove the car back before the 3rd session finished so the
I was looking forward to the Cadwell Park race weekend, as in the previous season I managed my first podium there. Also, the circuit is a brilliant one, rewarding you for pushing the envelope but biting hard as soon as you overdo it the smallest amount. Testing in the wet The Friday test day went well for me, enjoying my second visit to the circuit. Times came down throughout the day and I felt confident going into qualifying on the Saturday. On Saturday morning I’d booked the 30 minute practice session as Cadwell is a track where I feel seat time is of the upmost
In the months leading up to the BRSCC MX-5 Championship Pembrey weekend, I knew that many of the drivers in the grid hadn’t been there before, and even if they had it wouldn’t have been for a long, long time. The last time fellow AB Motorsport driver, Ollie Allwood visited Pembrey was 20 years ago! So, knowing this, I saw the weekend as potential for a solid points haul. To give myself every chance at succeeding at this, I booked two test days before the weekend began. I tested on the Thursday and the Friday. Thursday was purely a day of learning the circuit and
Brett Fraser, Editor of Total MX-5 magazine, spent a day with me at pre-season testing at Brands Hatch, and I featured in the April 2019 edition in an article entitled “The real cost of racing”. Below you can see what Brett wrote. You can also find out about what it costs to compete in the BRSCC MX-5 Championship in my Getting Started section. And make sure you sign up for a subscription for Total MX-5 to read about “Everything MX-5 and much more!” Even a budget motorsport series can be bigger drain on your pocket than you might imagine, as the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship’s
After enjoying some winter testing, and getting my first crash of the season out the way, I felt ready to go at Brands Hatch for the first weekend of the 2019 BRSCC MX-5 Championship. Heading into the weekend, I enjoyed having a season’s experience of knowing how everything work, something I didn’t have last year. However, the thought that remained was one of apprehension. I thought a lot about how qualifying would go, how race 1 would go and so on. But the thing is, there is no way to tell, you just have to get on with it and stay out of trouble. Testing
1. Mindset and attitude When I first set out to write this post, I didn’t intend to put the ‘things’ in any order, but this first one was one of, if not the most important lesson that I learnt. This is something I grasped quite late on in the season, at Anglesey, the third to last weekend. My second race that weekend didn’t go to plan. I spun… and things went downhill from there. The main shortcoming that affected the race was my attitude after I had spun. My driving deteriorated from that point. After the race I came back to the AB Motorsport paddock
Apart from winning a few awards for my scintillating football skills ( Player of the Year at U10, Golden Boot at U14 for Berkhamsted Raiders CFC), I can’t say that my life has been littered with awards. Nevertheless, I’m beginning to make my mark in the BRSCC MX-5 Championship. I made it on to the podium in the B races at Cadwell Park and Oulton Park and, as the season progressed, I moved up the championship rankings. In the last two race meetings at Rockingham and Donington Park, I qualified 4th and 6th fastest in my qualifying group. At the end of the season, I
So, my first season in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship. Never karted before, never raced competitively before. My pre-season experience consisted of: Learning to get round a track quickly in our Mazda Mk3 2.0 (BBR Super 200 conversion). Getting car control instruction at Milbrook Proving Ground. Drifting session with Learn2Drift. Spending a day under instruction in Brian Chandler‘s championship MX-5 A couple of track days in my new championship care with AB Motorsport. Watching endless videos on YouTube! Here’s a summary of my season performance. Started slowly, got quicker, and a consistent A race competitor by the end of the season.
I would start 17th for my last race of the year, having dropped back in the previous race after a silly mistake, but that’s what the first season is for! I knew I could make ground back up to where I should have started. Off the line I gained two positions quickly, coming past Clive Chisnall and another driver. I got myself in a good position, in the second group in the race. I was again having a good battle with Scott Leach and Seb Fisher. The battle continued for a fair amount of laps. However, one lap coming up to Coppice, it would all