With Donington being a new track for me I was learning with every lap. Qualifying was a shock as I was expecting to be in the top 10 at least, but surprisingly I qualified only in p17. I had great amount of confidence however as I knew I was always getting better which meant I knew my first race was the time to learn instead of beating myself up about it.
The start went well, overtaking 2 cars before the long run to turn 1. With a grid of 35 cars, the race was exciting, with a combination of overtakes, being overtaken and cars crashing out so I was not aware which position I was in! I seemed to nail ‘code 60’ along with my teammate, using it to my advantage. Code 60 occurs during an incident where all cars on track have to follow at 60km/h and as soon as the green flag comes out you are allowed to race again. By the end of the race I finished in p12.
Race 2 – After a good rest after Saturday’s race 1, I entered race 2 with a fresh mind and confidence on Sunday.
The starting lights came on as usual although before they went off, a number of cars had launched – as a driver, as you’re so focused before the lights go out, your reactions and nerve endings are on fire, so when one car launched, most cars reacted in the same way, resulting in a number of false starts. I collected a 10 second penalty for my false start along with 4 other drivers, even though there were many more guilty parties so I felt hard done by, but had to carry on with the race nevertheless.
Approaching turn 1 on my first lap, I found I had no brakes, but thankfully at less than full speed and could still take the corner but, through the curves, I was trying to build up brake pressure for the very fast ‘Old Hairpin’ (turn 3) and the brake pedal went to the floor again and the car ended up bouncing through the grass before re-joining the track, although near enough at the very back of the field.
Thankfully, I realised that my brakes had just over-heated which is why they were ineffective, so after my first lap taking it easy, they cooled down enough and started working again – this made for a very fun race as my work was cut out for me to attempt to regain as many positions as possible.
A p11 finish resulted, but due to the10 second penalty, this dropped to p16.
I was disappointed with the Clark of the Course’s decision and despite appealing, the penalty was upheld.
Again, there was nothing to lose and I knew I was quick enough to work my way through the field., proven by being 3rd quickest on track and lap times half a second quicker than the winner of the race on each lap. This was a big milestone for the weekend due to a lack of experience on this track but it showed I had the pace to win or at least be competitive with the front runners.
I finished the race in p11 once again despite constantly hunting down the next car in front.
Overall, I feel this was a positive weekend at my second round racing in the British Championship, despite my finishing positions not exactly showing it.
A lot was learned and it’s fair to say that Donington Park is my new favourite track.
I would like to thank my team, GBR, and also Josh, my mechanic, for giving me an awesome car which proved to be competitive at a track a had never raced on before throughout the whole weekend.
I would also like to thank my sponsors: Dem-Master, Scotwaste, JH Civil Engineering, Premier Commercial, UKCM, Claimeazy, Redhouse Fencing, M&K, Edinburgh Watch Company, Johnston Fuels and Murrayfield & Co. Also proud to support the Cookie Jar Foundation.