Hurray! It wasn’t a perfect race meeting at a gloomy Brands Hatch, but I took my chances in the wet race and bagged my first podium in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup.
This was the first SuperCup race meeting since the crash at Silverstone and so Friday was about building up and getting a feel for the car. It was a good day run in a variety of conditions, which was ideal.
There were 35 cars crowding the 1.2 mile circuit in qualifying. I didn’t have an awful session but didn’t get the best out of it either, ending up 7th fastest. I felt confident though, as I clearly left 0.25 seconds on the table from my best lap and therefore had the pace for the top 3.
Rain fell between qualifying and race 1 and the track was still greasy early on. I had a good start and opted for a wider (wet) line around Clearways on lap one. This was a mistake though, as I had a snap of oversteer and slid off the circuit, into the gravel. I thought I was going to have to retire, but managed to keep going. It was a good fun race after that, as I battled back from 34th to 18th at the end.
Race 2 was held in torrential rain. I started 4th and dropped to 6th at the start, after being squeezed out (plus it was hard to see!). This time I settled down, found my feet in the conditions and my confidence grew. The track was as wet as race 2 at Donington earlier in the year where I found the going tough. But this time I felt good and I started to increase my pace, picking off the cars in front. As we came to the final laps, I was in a good position to attack for 2nd place, especially as we had a nice gap behind, but I was also happy to finish on the podium for the first time in the SuperCup, so opted not to do anything silly. What a relief it was to be back on the podium!
I had a great start in race 3, going from 6th to 4th. But, as we approached Druids on the first lap, I braked too late on the damp part of the track and slid into the gravel. This time, I was buried deep and was out of the race. But, at least I didn’t have any damage.
Overall it was a good weekend, despite my immense frustration with my mistakes. I achieved my target of scoring a podium and also left with no damage, but was still disappointed when I woke up Monday morning. The good thing is, I have a lot of motivation for 2021.
This brings to a close a very strange season. A tough season, with a steep learning curve. But I did learn a great deal; we feel we are on top of the car now and I am more confident driving it.
Thank you to The Perfect View, Cambridge FD, Bartletts Seat, AMD Innovation, Blink Motorsport (the best team in the paddock), and of course my Dad, Ian.
As I said, I’m highly motivated to have sustained success in 2021, so keep an eye on this website and my social media for news throughout the winter.