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.
As the 2014 season rushes to a close we visited Snetterton for the final fling in Sean and Laura Danaher's fantastic 1938 Maserati 6CM Grand Prix car. This was it! I was competing for the Continental Trophy and the Bruce Spollon Memorial Trophy. I won them last year and dearly wanted to repeat the success.
I am really looking forward to the 11th and 12th rounds (of 14) of the Britcar Endurance Championship on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit this weekend. I will be driving the fabulous MacConnal Mason Gallery Ferrari 458 GTC run by top Ferrari team FF Corse.
I have been really looking forward to the Goodwood Revival and racing Sean and Laura Danaher's fabulous 1938 Maserati 6CM Grand Prix car I raced last year to 3rd place. However, there was a very strong ERA entry with up to 8 cars capable of winning. Times were going to be tough and on paper a podium was looking distant. We give away 500cc to the ERAs so the pressure was on.
Next stop is Goodwood where I'm back in the magnificent Sean Danher Maserati 6CM for the Goodwood Trophy. The race is for Grand Prix cars and Voiturettes from 1930-1950. It is usually a big field with rather a large contingent of more modern and more powerful cars so we will be in giant slaying mode. Last year we finished a very pleasing 3rd and it would be fantastic to get a podium again this year. The competition is extemely fierce but I will do my best.
Very excited about the next rounds of the BritCar Championship at Snetterton tomorrow. There have been a few movements between classes and some new entries so it looks like being an important weekend for the championship.
Oulton Park Interrnational circuit staged the latest round of the Britcar Endurance Championship. David and I were really looking forward to it - one of the most challenging circuits in the UK. We were also hoping for a good haul of points as we went into the week end leading the championship by 1 point!
I've got a great weekend in store. First stop is Oulton Park where David Mason OBE & I are back in the McConnal Mason Gallery Ferrari 458 for 2 BritCar races. After a great weekend at Spa we're raring to go.
I am looking forward to racing at Donington this week end. I will again be in David Mason's Ferrari 458 GTC which will suit the circuit well. It looks like the conditions are going to be wet which suits both of us as we enjoy the slip- sliding especially at the notoriously slippery Donington Circuit. We will be on the GP version which is a rare opportunity.
I was very impressed with the changes I saw at Donington yesterday. The entry road is now tarmacked all the way in. With my trackday head on this makes a massive difference to our clients. Not having to worry about getting a low car into the circuit is great. It’s upped the appearance of the circuit hugely. I suspect it will have cost a significant amount of money but whatever it was, it’s really appreciated.
Great weekend of motorsport. We started off with a very productive test day on the Silverstone International circuit on Saturday. Back in the McConnal Mason Gallery Ferrari 458 I’m racing with David Mason in the 2014 Britcar British Endurance Championship. We’re run by FF Corse who did their usual great job. We got a lot of running and worked through our programme with great results.
After the 2104 season got off to a great start at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the UK season got underway with a test on the Silverstone GP circuit (Wednesday) and the next day at Rockingham. We were in Kevin Norville's Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 car. The weather was kind though cold at Silverstone and with a semi exclusive allowing only 25 cars it was high quality test time. All went well and we ran on the new Michelin tyres, mandated by the Championship, for the first time. The cobwebs were well and truly blown out!!
I’ve got a pretty hectic racing season lined up for 2014 with full seasons in a Ferarri 458 in BritCar and an Aston GT4 in the AMR series. I’ve also got an historic campaign in the 1938 Maserati 6CM and a debut outing in an F5000 car.
What is a coach as opposed to an instructor? Many people say they have had coaching or indeed do coaching but is that really the case? Instructing certainly has its place, as a function in itself, but also has a place within coaching. 'Tuition', as a word to describe the whole industry, is largely unregulated in the UK. Whether this is good or not is perhaps another topic.
We had a great early part of the race, running in the top 10, staying out of trouble but with a developing 1st gear problem. I was in car when Memo Gidley had his huge accident. This naturally caused a lengthy red flag with us all parked up on the banking for about an hour. After the restart we were running well, working with the spotters allowing us to really concentrate on driving.
The build up to the race is underway. The circuit is buzzing, looks like there’s going to be a huge crowd. So far I’ve only had 11 flying laps in the car. That’s very often the way before a big race. There’s very limited track time and many drivers to circulate through. Add to that the list of jobs you have to do before the race and it adds up to very little time. However, the car’s in great shape and we’re ready to race.
How much insurance cover should we have? What should we cover? When should we worry about it? My Daytona deal has brought this into full focus after stories such as a driver having a relatively minor shunt at the Speedway and after a few checks up in hospital was presented with a bill for $40,000! And he was not insured.
I was really pleased to visit the Aston Martin factory at Prodrive as part of my prep for the the Rolex 24-hour at Daytona (25/26 January) It was great to meet the Chief Engineer for the 009 MacConnal-Mason Gallery Aston Martin, Evert Van Doorn.