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Disappointing 924 Weekend at Rockingham

September 18th, 2017
With Andy Pritchard in hot persuit at the Tarzan hairpin. Photo © Dave Maries.

Rockingham isn’t a track I particularly like racing at, but it was one of the few BRSCC Toyo Porsche Championship rounds I could actually compete in this season, due mostly to clashes and other committments. I again hired a 924 from Moluto Motorsport and turned up in plenty of time on the Saturday morning for qualifying, joining a quite respectable grid of 22 cars.

I had a best time to aim for but that was from my Boxster days and by today’s standards, it would have put me among the 924s. I posted a fastest lap around 9 seconds shy of that, putting me P10 on the grid for Race 1 – second from last and around 0.2 seconds quicker than Andy Pritchard who happens to be chair of the 924 Owners’ Club.

Race 1 turned out to be quite a lot of fun: I made a poor start and Andy, Bernie and the two Class B Boxsters (who grid up behind us) were quickly passed, but I hung on to their tails and got past Andy which led to an almost race-long battle between as has he fought to get past. Eventually he did and was on the verge of beating me when the heavens opened and the circuit got very slippery, very quickly – catching Andy out on the long left-hander after PiffPaff where he span out left onto the wet grass. I sailed through to finish P7 in class but afterwards in parc ferme we were both grinning from ear to ear having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

So for Race 2 we would again be close on the grid, with me on the row in front. Unfortunately I made an even worse start and everyone disappeared into the distance, leading to a race that wasn’t remotely enjoyable – so bad in fact that I decided to call it a day and not even enter Race 3. Perhaps that was a prophetic decision since there was a very bad crash among the 924s on the banking soon after the start, leading to severe damage to three cars, including that of Class C champion contender Pip Hammond and another local friend Karl Rossin who has been competing in a new-build car this season.

I’ll miss the final round of the 2017 season due to being at Oulton Park with Britcar in October; I’m currently 10th in the championship table but expect to get bumped down a few spots in the final races at Brands.

My thanks go to Clive and Philip of Moluto for looking after the car; AMPS Ltd for their continuing sponsorship; and the BRSCC marshals and volunteers for making our crazy sport possible.