|Photos courtesy Mini 7 Racing Club, Matthew Barrington, Stephen Colbran and Roald Rakers.|
Having missed the last round at Snetterton due to work commitments I was looking forward to getting back into the car and heading to an awesome track. Not only is the track technical and fast the organisers are so welcoming.
We had a cheeky test on Friday PM which went well and felt I could get on the front row. Pole was looking unlikely as that orange car again had the nitrous and turbo fitted and #Deegs(sic) in it.
Qualifying day came and I was slower than the test day and could not work out why, but we still manged 3rd on the grid. Zandvoort is one of the very few tracks where it is a staggered start so gaining off the start is always harder, however we know #Deegs has not been the best at starting so there was still hope!!
Well having given Shayne grief about his starts I had the worst one of all and went to 4th place. By the time I made my way through #Deegs had gone so it was left to Rupert and I to contested for 2nd place and what a great race we had. I manged to overtake him into turn one around the outside and held the place and then started to bridge a gap until I seemed to come across the Se7ens in all the wrong places and Rupert then gained again, going into the last corner I made a slight mistake and so it was a sprint to the line and sadly I missed out on 2nd by 7-thousands of second.
For me it was about retaining my title, started out well then came across a few problems, DNFs along with work commitments meant there was no chance and to be honest #Deegs was far too superior this year - hats off to him and a true champion. We did get close to having a race but he crashed into me at Brands, what more can I say!
And the worst thing about it all is the Club Clown (Rob Howard) won and all we hear now is “who was the only other person to beat Shayne this season!!” like a broken record.
After not being in a Se7en since 2009 I was given the chance to race Joe Thompson’s at Brands due to Tomo not being well so I jumped at the chance. It certainly brought back some memories and we did well to come 10th from the back of the grid. It was decided after Brands we would have another outing in the car at Oulton, and how glad was I to do that and what a weekend in the Se7en, a 2nd and a win.
The Future - 2017
I am now the proud owner of 1965 FIA Historic Mini so will be competing in a number of events next year.
The Miglia will hopefully be out at the first meeting and we will see how it goes from there. I am not committing to a full season at this stage as I also want to concentrate on some triathlon events and have entered a qualifying round in May for a GB age group place.
I would also like to have another outing in the Se7en, if the owner allows me.