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.
Qualifying went well with P3 overall and class pole. Job number one achieved! On paper there was no way to beat the 2 prototypes ahead and there was some threat from behind. As the lights went out I gunned it and managed to jump the Rapier into Redgate. However the superior performance of the class 1 car saw it slide by after 10 or 15 laps. Meanwhile the Radical SR8 had moved into the lead and was well ahead.
30 odd laps in there was a coming together between the Radical and an Aston GT4. This left both cars out and me in P1 class and P2 overall. This also triggered a safety car period and making an inspired strategy call the FF Corse pit wall team called me in for his first pit stop, new tyres and 25 litres of fuel. Losing a lap was expected but what wasn't was the second pit stop a lap later. This was for another 25 litres of fuel and serving the extra penalty we excited the pits before the pace car arrived so really scored well by only losing 1 lap between the two stops (2 normal green flag stops would lose around 3.5 laps).
With inspired pit work from the team we were in the lead by a lap and stayed there till the flag. Another maximum score towards the class and overall championship.
On overall pole for the second race due to the previous race win, we expected to be swamped by the class 1 cars off the line. However, I got away in the lead and unexpectedly pulled away from the pack. Some laps later the Radical blew its engine and left a huge oil slick all the way into and through the chicane. Slippery times! Shortly after the Rapier also had engine problems, retiring and leaving me over 2 laps ahead all the way to the flag.
With another maximum score we extended our championship lead. Well done FF Corse, another top job. The MacConnal Mason Gallery Ff Corse was faultless as usual.
After the highs of Donington we arrived at the Silverstone Classic on Sunday in grim weather racing Tester Engineering's wonderful Jaguar XK120 roadster in the Battle of Britain race at the end of the day. Hoping the weather would improve was a vain hope indeed. The rain fell and fell and we started the race under safety car.
I was at the back of the grid as I had neither qualified or raced in the first encounter on Saturday. The safety car set off and it was immediately clear that it was going too fast, quickly leaving the second half of the field a long way behind. So when the race started, I was already half a lap behind. Very frustrating.
The weather was appalling and the track more slippery that ever. I gave it all and managed to bag P9 overall and P5 in class with only 3 laps of green flag racing. Better than expected and lots of fun!!
Well done to Jim Tester who stood on the podium and received a well deserved trophy. Well done all at Tester Racing for braving the weather and keeping the smiles in place!!