Last Saturday saw my first race in a Porsche 924, at the circuit where I began my racing back in 2012 – Oulton Park. I hadn’t had an opportunity to even sit in the car before the Friday test day – and wasn’t able to arrive until early afternoon either – so that didn’t leave Clive and the team much time to get me fitted into the car. And as it turned out, the seat was too high – my head was against the roll cage and I couldn’t look down. We therefore lost the first 20-minute session while the guys hastily removed the seat runners to lower the seat but around 30mm. My first drive of the car, therefore, was in the final test session of the day and my luck was out again as that session was red flagged twice. I’d hardly had time to bed in the new Toyo R888 tyres and Mintex front pads!
Although there was another test session available on the Saturday morning, I decided to skip it and wait until qualifying. I wasn’t quite the slowest car – a race newbie in the shape of 924 Owners’ Club chairmain Andy Pritchard was behind me – but I was pretty unhappy with my performance – at least 6 seconds a lap off where I wanted to be.
After the very short test session and a piss-poor performance in qualifying, I was ready to throw in the towel Saturday morning, but an opportunity in Race 1 to chase and duel bumper-to-bumper with Hugh Peart (who finished overall third in Class C last year) saw my lap time drop by 3.1 seconds. Sadly Hugh was struck down by sickness during the race and had to retire.
I was able to have another race-within-a-race in Race 2, this time getting the jump on Peter Smith (one of the drivers returning to our grid after time away) at the start and then keeping ahead of him before he finally managed to get past me at The Avenue approaching Cascades bend. There wasn’t time to challenge him as the race was red flagged after 5 laps.
So after what turned out to be two very enjoyable races, I might not have taken home any silverware, but I do now have 27 championship points from finishing 9th and 10th in class and have raced another “bare bones” car along similar lines to the MR2s I’ve driven in the past.
Due to clashes with Britcar events, I’m only going to be able to race in five of the championship’s 8 rounds this year, but this (relatively) low cost way to go Porsche racing will add to my race experience – and especially to my car control – and will be in significant contrast to the Creventic 24 Hours of Silverstone that is my next outing.
My thanks to Clive and the Moluto Motorsport team for running the car; Mrs Phil Waters for sustainance; fellow Moluto drivers Philip and Ryan for advice; new PDA coordinator John Broadley for taking on and doing so well in the role; big Andy for clerking; the Oulton army of orange; and to my sponsor AMPS Ltd for their continuing support.