More coaching from ex-BRSCC Porsche racer David Hornsey paid massive dividends at Silverstone this weekend. After shaving 8 seconds off my personal lap record – set in a Lotus Elise Trophy car – with him in Friday’s free practice sessions, I managed to knock off a further two seconds in the second of two races.
To boost grid numbers (we were on the GP configuration after all) Britcar had invited four of the Nissan academy drivers and they arrived with their shiny new Nissan 370Z, all sporting novice crosses. These guys were to run in the class above me and the other Class 4 regular Nick Holden, who races an Aerial Atom.
Damp and drizzly weather appeared to be the order of the day and most of use set out to qualify on Dunlop wets. And I chose to use these for the first of our races too; although a dry line was starting to appear, I knew that some parts of the circuit, particularly Stowe corner and Vale chicane at the southern end of Silverstone would remain damp and quite slippy for some time. Despite starting quicker and pulling quite a long way ahead of the closest of the four Nissans, he pitted early and upped his pace significantly to beat me into last place.
By the afternoon the track had dried completely. We therefore swapped the car back to slicks (albeit quite worn ones) for the second race and my lap times not only equalled the best I’d set with David on Friday, but I actually managed to improve on that new record on almost every lap, finally posting a best of 2:38.35 – a full 10 seconds over the fastest I’d ever achieved in the Elise Trophy car in previous seasons.
The same Nissan driver was a bit quicker off the line this time and again he pitted early. While he was in, I determined to build as much lead as I could and pitted a bit later, only to exit as he drove past the pit exit. This was just the incentive I needed and having seen where he was braking, at that he actually braked in a couple of placed he needn’t, I thought I stood a good chance of catching him. Watch the video to see what happened.
Our final outing for Trophy will be at Donington – a circuit I really enjoy racing – at the very beginning of November. I sincerely hope that we will return to the 3 x 30 minute format.
Additionally I am in talks with a different team to run me in a BMW in the Brands Hatch “Into The Night” race at the end of November. This will be a race of firsts for me: my first 90 minute race (after Oulton, which ended up short), my first night race, first in a BMW and likely first with a sequential shift gearbox. Should be great fun!