Two years ago I debuted at the Goodwood Revival in Sean and Laura Danaher’s stunning 1938 Maserati 6CM. I qualified 5th and finished 3rd. Last year it was P2 and P2 respectively and this year many were asking 'could I take the top step?’ I was sure I needed rain to compete with the extra capacity, power, torque and pre-selector grearboxes of the ERAs on Goodwood fantastic sweeps and long straights.
This week end is shaping up to be very exciting with a return to the MSA British Endurance Championship in David Mason's fabulous Ferrari 458 Challenge GTC at Donington and another appearance in Tester Engineering's stunning Jaguar XK 120 in the Battle of Britain race on Sunday at the Silverstone Classic.
I’ve had two amazing seasons in 2014 and 2015 winning the British Dunlop Endurance Championship overall each year with David Mason in his fabulous class 2 Ferrari 458 Challenge GTC and winning the Continental Trophy Series in Sean and Laura Danaher's stunning 1938 Maserati 6CM Grand Prix car.
Racing with Julian Thomas in his stunning low drag light weight E Type Jaguar at Portimao was a prospect with much joy! We set off a bit early to make the most of the trip and enjoy some great seafood and warm sunshine.
With Autumn coming fast the temperatures were low at Oulton Park as the Britcar paddock gathered. Testing on Friday was dry and using old tyres we got to work and found a nice balance in the car. Although the weather forecast was for wet on race day, we had to scrub 2 sets of slicks in case. This gave me an opportunity to try a couple of qualifying runs and, despite the low temperatures we were well into the 1 min 37s with more to come.
After a great Goodwood Revival win in Sean and Laura Danaher's wonderful 1938 Maserati Grand Prix car we headed off to Spa for the 6 Hours. I was again racing with Julian Thomas in his stunning light weight low drag E Type Jaguar and driving that round Spa was eagerly anticipated.
The final round of the Jaguar Classic Challenge was looming and due to other commitments Julian drove solo for the test day on Wednesday. This all went very well with a time 7 tenths under the fastest lap from last year.
After a frantic round at Croft we reconvened at Silverstone on the International Circuit. 2.25 miles of fast straights juxtapositioned by tight sections meant some careful set up to satisfy both requirements. Unusually testing was on the Wednesday before and we had plenty of time to think about how best to proceed with car set up.
With no testing available at Thruxton prior to the Britcar Endurance 2 hour race David and I decided to enter the GT and Production races on Saturday so he could familiarise himself with the fantastic fast sweeps of Thruxton having never seen the circuit before.
After the great successes of the Donington Historic Festival we reconvened at Silverstone for the International Trophy. I was again driving with Julian Thomas in his fabulous low drag lightweight E Type Jaguar.
The Donington Historic Festival finally got my season off the blocks with four races, two each in Julian Thomas' fabulous lightweight low drag E type Jaguar and Sean and Laura Danaher's stunning 1938 Maserati 6CM Grand Prix car.
Monday brought my first test in Julian Thomas' fantastic Semi Lightweight E -Type Jaguar. We will be sharing it in selected races around Britain and Europe this season with visits to the Donington Historic Festival, Silverstone Classic, Zandvoort Historic Festival, the Spa 6 Hours race and Portimao.
We headed to Snetterton for the VSCC season finals amid lovely sunshine and blue skies. Rain, I was thinking, might serve me better in my aim to win the race and claim the hat trick of Continental Trophy Series wins. Giving away power, torque and gear change speed to the ERAs is a perrennial problem with the wet perhaps bringing me back into play.
We reconvened at Brands Hatch for the next round of the Sports and GT Cup on the fantastic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. A 90 minute blast was in prospect where neither driver could drive for more than 40 minutes in a single stint with the car owner starting the race.
The next rounds of the British Endurance Championship are fast coming up. Snetterton has been very good to us in the past so we are hoping for another good run to maintain our overall Championship lead in David Mason's superb Ferrari 458 Challenge GTC.
Saturday saw the MSA British Endurance Championship reconvene after a three month break. Leading the championship by a handy margin we set off for Donington wondering what might transpire. I was driving solo in both 90 minute races. The organisers, feeling that that was an unfair advantage tagged the team with a 90 second extra pit stop translating to around 1 minute 45 seconds in total. Or around 1 and 2/3rds lap penalty. In each race. This was going to be interesting.
David Mason OBE and I enjoyed another perfect-score weekend racing in the Britcar Trophy races supporting the Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone. The weather was fantastic and, as ever, the FF Corse prepared and run Ferrari 458 Challenge GTC performed flawlessly.
Testing went well on Friday and left David Mason OBE and I feeling in good fettle for the opening round of the MSA British Dunlop Endurance Championship. The MacConnal Mason Gallery Ferrari 458GTC had been re-prepped after our Portimao test and all was well.
It is hard to imagine a more exciting and successful season than the one just gone: 24 races in 6 different cars, with 11 wins, 13 poles, 16 fastest laps and 17 podiums and the overall British Endurance Championship.