Mallory Park September 2009

Unfortunately, Matt had blown his funds at Snetterton so the last two rounds I was on my own. My car had been on a diet since Snetterton as we’d analysed that I was losing most of my speed in the very fast turn 1 where my car would lean and drift when others were planted firmly to the deck. I’d had a dream about the qualifying session that I came in 5th and was looking forward to this immensely. I had the advantage of having driven the circuit before as well so imagine my disappointment when I qualified 17th. Still I was just over half way down the 30 strong field and it’s only my second event in the series so mustn’t grumble.

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Snetterton MR2 Race 2009

Coggsport (as we christened Matt’s new racing team) fielded three cars for this meeting and what a cracking time we all had. Matt’s good friend and GT Race Series Champion Jody Firth was going to drive “The Black Car” Matt in his Rothmans liveried one and me in my Rosso Corsa Ferrari liveried beasty (with genuine Ferrari gel badges and wing shield)

Qualifying didn’t go to plan. Jody did better than expected and put it on Pole but Matt and I were not quite as good as we thought we’d be. I was in 18th and Matt was 16th from the 28 car grid.

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Sourcing a Race Car

I managed to pick up a race ready car at the right money. A nice C-Reg number in red and although she came from down South, she hailed from Wakefield. When I picked the car up, she was absolutely no where near ready. None of the outstanding jobs had been done and the cage hadn’t been fitted. It was three weeks before we were due to race at Snetterton and Matt had to prepare “The Black Car” for Jody Firth to drive as well as help me with mine. Matt worked 14 hour days for the three weeks and I helped every night and every weekend I was able and with a little help from other friends, both cars made the race, as did Matt’s own car.

Silverstone Nippon Challenge 2009

Judging by the way the track day went, there was nothing to this circuit racing business so I gladly accepted Matt’s offer of a gentle 12 laps around the National circuit. The weather suited me down to the ground, absolutely siling it down all day. Qualifying went well. I was 26th out of the 32 or so entrants but I was third GT150 driver out of the 8 that had entered, all in identical MR2 Mk1s and all doubling up with the MR2 Racing Series.

The lights went out to signify the start of the race and I shot off along the pit wall and into Copse, passing about four rows of cars, round the outside of Beckets as everyone was stacked up on the inside and away I went down the back straight, passing the leading MR2 on the way and back to finish the first lap in 12th place. There were people spinning off everywhere and it was a job to avoid them all if I’m honest. A handful of cars had passed me by the end of the race but I remained leader of the MR2s and caused quite a stir back in the paddock.

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