The series I have chosen to race is in the BRSCC Porsche Championship. I chose this over Elise Trophy for several reasons. Firstly I own and have done the majority of my track days in a Porsche Boxster, so this is the car I have the most experience with on track. Secondly, while racing an Elise might be cheaper, their grids are quite a bit larger and to be honest I felt that a lower number of cars on the track at the same time would better suit a beginner.
Through my second job as a freelance sports photographer, I met Rebecca Jackson in early 2011 just as she was starting her own racing career in a Porsche 924 and I followed the season, taking photos mostly for myself, but also for the series website and for some of the drivers. Getting to know more and more of the people involved in the series, I was soon being encouraged to take part, not least by Richard Stryin, who was often on the podium during the 2011 season.
Learning to pass your driving test, how to drive a car and how to race a car are three completely different things and to do each properly, you need the right kind of training.
My race coaching is being provided by the excellent Malcolm Edeson, who I discovered through my links with the Lotus On Track Racing Drivers’ Club. Malcolm has himself raced for many years and has also coached at least six Elise Trophy drivers to success over the past few seasons.
Its important to race train in a race car and I have been renting an Elise Trophy car from ES Motorsport run by the splendid Dave Carr, himself an impressive Elise Trophy racer, out near Norwich.
Quite soon after buying my Porsche Boxster in 2006 I decided I should get some advanced driver training. Based at the Millbrook testing facility in Bedfordshire – once used as Vauxhall’s main testing ground – CAT Driver Training advertised at a Porsche Club regional event and a number of our region members signed up for a half-day taster course. Owned and run by Colin and Jo Hoad, the quality of tuition is excellent which is frankly essential – if you don’t get on with the instructor you’re really wasting your money because you won’t absorb much of what’s being said to you.
I have since taken their Performance Driver Course (a 1-to-1 course emphasising car control under performance conditions and introducing threshold braking and under- and over-steer) and attended a Gymkhana Training Day (which brings in an element of competition between the drivers).
I’ve set up this blog to cover my first moves into motorsport. Some people might think that late forties is a bit of a strange time of life to start something normally associated with fit young people, but for me it was a case of wanting to do something with my life – something for myself more than anyone else.
So, having done a few track days over the last couple of years, I took and passed my ARDS test at Bedford in November 2011 and obtained my National ‘B’ novices race license for 2012.