The Toyo Tires BRSCC Porsche Championship kicked off its 2013 season today in a weekend of races at the Northampton Rockingham Raceway – a venue I had no intention of racing at give I’ve only ever driven there once before and, as per my own rule, I wouldn’t race anywhere that I’d not had coaching for. But as it turned out, I broke a whole slew of rules by accepting a last-minute drive in a car I’d never been in before (although its was the same model 986 Boxster as my own race car), from a different team, wearing borrow kit and a borrowed helmet. A quick request to our series BRSCC representative John Clark, a check-in with Race Control and the issue of a “change of driver” notice came just in time for me to jump into the car for this morning’s qualifying session.
Given these shortcomings, I wasn’t really expecting particularly spectacular times and I qualified 11th out of 13 Boxsters and slightly unusually for me, with none of the Class Bs above me. This put me on row 6 on the grid but a not particularly brilliant start soon left me adrift. Looking back at the only other time I’d driven the circuit, every lap of qualifying was faster than my fastest lap then and I finished 10.8 seconds faster than I had been in November.
924 newcomer Hen Sharpe filled my mirrors for the first four laps, but I pulled away from him and spent most of the race alone on the circuit – almost wondering if everyone else had nipped down the nearest chippy without telling me! I therefore finished 13th overall and last of all of the Boxsters – a position I thought I’d left behind towards the end of last year as my times improved.
Having missed out on my debut MR2 race at Donington due to snow, I suppose I should be grateful for an extra race – and some Championship points – that I wasn’t expecting. Next round for the Porsches is at Silverstone on 11/12th May and I really hope to do considerably better then!
My thanks to Gerry Taylor and TF Motorsport for giving me this opportunity – the kindness and generosity demonstrated by the people of this Championship continues to amaze me.