Rock Bottom

The meeting at Silverstone was probably the single worst weekend I’ve had racing. Certainly the worst I can remember. But, it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up (as they say).

We started off pretty confused by our straight line speed in Friday practise. It turned out a spark plug had burnt out, costing me power. We changed it and found some speed, but I’ll come back to this later.

In qualifying I missed the first five minutes of the session as the engine would not fire correctly. Thanks to the quick hands and cool heads of the BLiNK guys, they patched the wiring up and we did get out. It was a messy session on track though and I posted times only fast enough to put me 16th and 12th on the gird for the two races.

After going over the wiring and also making a change to the set up I was feeling good for race 1. The car felt better straight away, but I unfortunately I didn’t complete a lap as the kill switch shorted at the end of lap one. This turned off the engine, meaning I could only coast into the pit lane and retire.

Race 2 started well and over the first few laps I took advantage of everything I could. I was running up in 5th and at the same pace as the front group, who had pulled a three second gap at this point. They were starting to fight, so I felt optimistic that I may catch them by the end of the race and have some fun.

However, I lost a place to drop to 6th and the next lap was tipped into a spin at Brooklands corner. I found myself stranded on the apex, facing the on coming traffic. Unfortunately, I was hit, wrecking the front end. It was the biggest crash I’ve had so far in my racing career and I wasn’t even moving. But, both the other driver and myself were okay, so that was the main thing (so I’m told!).

There was a lot of damage. Thankfully the car could still be pushed, so we knew the wheels were pointing the right direction and that there was a chance it could be fixed. In the weeks that followed, I purchased a donor mk3 and the guys at Full Circle Bodyshop were able to perform some magic to rebuild the front. We then took the car to BLiNK to fit the air intake and other necessary parts to get the car race legal. During this, the engine was checked and the damage from the spark plug on the Friday testing was so bad that we needed a new engine as well.

Since all of this work, we have been out in the car to check it worked and I’m pleased to report that it did.

I must say a very big thank you for the efforts that have been made on my behalf since the crash. Joh Haffenden at The Perfect View has been a brilliant driving force behind getting is sorted; Dad has been running around a lot (and during apple picking season too); Full Circle Bodyshop in Marden performed wonders doing the work; and of course BLiNK have been nothing short of amazing too.

We go to Brands Hatch next, for the final race weekend of 2020. I’m hoping for a straightforward weekend, without too much drama!