I completed three more races in a 924 in the BRSCC Toyo Tires Porsche Championship this weekend, albeit in a different car. Bernie Printy was present for his first races of the season and he was to run in the orange car I drove at Oulton Park. I was therefore moved to Philip Waters’ car from last season, while he drove his new-build left-hand-drive (only the second such car to ever run in the championship).
Family commitments meant I was unable to attend the Friday test session and although I had arrived at the circuit early enough to take advantage of the extra 40-minute test session the BRSCC had allowed, the car had ignition problems which were not cleared until just before qualifying.
I have raced Snetterton a few times before and its not a circuit I particularly like. It suits the more powerful Boxsters more, with its two long straights, but its length meant that us 924 drivers would likely only be lapped once.
I qualified a predictable 9th in class – second from last – in a car I’d never driven before that morning. It was well set up, though – this weekend being “spannered” by ex-924 champion Alastair Kirkham and his dad, the pair having driven all the way from Anglesey to look after the Moluto team of four cars. Team mate Bernie Printy was completely new to the circuit and put in a reasonable time to grab the slot next to me on the grid.
Race 1 and I finished third from last, beating Bernie by 1.6 seconds, plus a new driver in a Class B who had spun early in the race. Race 2 was spoilt by a bad start from me and I eventually took the flag 0.377 seconds behind Bernie – dead last. However, we were both much quicker than in Race 1, my lap time improved by a massive five seconds, posting a fastest lap of 2.13.808 as I chased Bernie in the final lap.
The final race of the weekend was our traditional reverse grid – so having finished last I was on class pole, next to the unforgiving concrete pit lane wall. I made a better start but still didn’t have enough pace and by turn 1 most of the field had passed me – some close enough to cause me to evade – so I was playing catchup again. I caught and passed Bernie at the same spot as in Race 1 (turn 1) and kept a bit of a gap until he started to slowly reel me in towards the end. By the flag he was 1.5 second back.
My next outing in the 924 will be at Castle Combe (a circuit I’ve never raced) on 15/16th July but before then I make my 2017 return to Britcar, partnering with Canadian owner/driver Fareed Ali in the Cayman GT4.
My thanks to AMPS UK Ltd for their continuing financial support this season; Alastair and his Dad for running the cars this weekend; Moluto Motorsport for the car; and Jon Elsey for doing our photos.