Hi Guys

Sorry for not posting for such a long time, but in all honesty I haven’t really done much since October, certainly on the racing/testing front.

This weekend was pretty special (and emotional) for me, as the last time I was going to go racing up at Mallory Park was 10 years ago, it didn’t happen (can’t remember the reason why), and on the day of the race meeting my nan died . So when the opportunity came up again for this year, I was determined to get to race there.

Race season so far:
Round 1 of the season at Pembrey in April was a no go for me as my MG decided to have an oil leak, which couldn’t be fixed in time.
Round 2 of the season again at Pembrey (but on the new configuration) in May ended up being a no go as well, due to my MG having a water leak, and again couldn’t be fixed in time.

By now I was starting to feel downhearted that I wasn’t going to have a good season or have a car to compete in, but I was hoping so much that the car was going to be fixed and ready to race to at Mallory, even to manage a test session before the race!

There was only two weeks between the May and June meetings though. The closer the Mallory meeting was getting the grimmer my prospects of going were becoming and that I wasn’t going to make it again, as my MG was not wanting to play yet again, this time as the engine was getting to its operating temperature, it was distorting the cylinder head and causing a slight leak.

On the Friday on the race weekend I got the news that my MG wasn’t going to be race ready, I was devastated! I’ve been waiting so long to make it up to Mallory Park. I seemed destined not to be able to race there .

Then a light came on at the end of the tunnel, as one of my fellow competitors (Andrew Williams) offered his car for me race. You are an absolute star . After getting the go ahead from Alan (series co-ordinator) and Robert (series secretary), Andrew and I then proceeded to get things sorted for Sunday.

Round 3 – Mallory Park Race Meeting
When I arrived at the track, there was blue sky and the sun was shining , though it was a little chilly.

mallory_park

I got signed on at 8am and got the car to scrutineering not long after, it seemed to take forever, I was still in scrutineering at 9am, and I had to go to a newcomers drivers briefing at 9am before qualifying at 9:30am. A bit of a rush to get changed into my overalls and down to the assembly area, but everyone managed it!
Mallory Park  Mallory Park 2
Qualifying: Lap Time: 1:04.752 – Position: 18th
I was tentative to start with, as I’ve never been on the track before and I was driving someone else’s car. I was just starting to get into some sort of rhythm when a red flag came out, so when I got back out everything had cooled down so had to build the momentum back up again, by then the chequered flag came out.
Not quick by any means, but I was hopeful I could improve and make up some places in the races.
Though when I was talking to someone, and mentioned how slow my time was compared to everyone else and that I was driving an 1800cc 160bhp car, he said that I was doing brilliantly, especially as I had never been to the track before as well, so I felt a bit better about it .

Race 1: Lap Time: 1:04.342 – Position: 13th
It started to spit with rain, but not enough to make the track wet thankfully.
Finished 3rd in class out of 4.
Managed to get two cars off the line, then had a little wobble at the first corner, which lost me the places, I ended up in the wrong gear and wasn’t able to get the acceleration needed to power out the corner.
Managed to go a little quicker, not as much as I thought, but looking at the lap times of everyone no one really went quicker than their qualifying lap, so though a little frustrated, I’m happy enough that I went quicker.

Race 2: Lap Time: 1:03.716 – Position: 11th
Slightly heavier rain just before the race, but stopped as we went out on track. The track amazing was pretty dry and grippy.
Finished 3rd in class again
Managed to get pass a car off the line, but lost it again, as I had quite a slide going into the first corner , I really thought I was going to get hit by the car I’d just overtaken, but managed to hold it together and got decent acceleration out the corner down the back straight, managed to keep a car behind me until we got to the John Cooper Esses though.
I was getting more confident going round the track by now and started to push that little harder, mostly Gerard’s Bend; John Cooper Esses and Devils Elbow.

I got three trophies  – two 3rd in class and a Driver of the Race in race 2 which are the first I’ve got since 2012! I was quite surprised by the response by my fellow competitors – it was a good one – when I was called up for my trophies, especially for the Driver of the Race trophy. It really made my day to know that I was respected and how much they believed in me and were happy for me.

Having a reliable car so I could focus just on driving the track was a big help. Again I want to say a massive thank you to Andrew Williams for allowing me to race his car . Also I would like to say thank you to the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship a) for allowing me to race someone else’s car, b) for all the support I’ve got from everyone involved in the championship – officials and competitors. Thank you so much for being there and believing in me.

Overall I had an enjoyable day racing.

Here’s hoping I can enjoy the rest of my season. Still got three more races in July (Pembrey), September (Oulton Park) and October (Pembrey).

Keep Smiling and God Bless
Vez