In lieu of the reports I should have written at the time, here’s a quick description of the highlights of the last half of 2006, (with some of the most dramatic pictures you’re ever likely to see! 🙂
My aim for the year was always to get myself to the point that I was part of the “fast group” who were competing for wins. This I pretty much achieved (although on occasion I was hanging on by my fingernails!). In most events, I was there or thereabouts, in particular in the changeable conditions at Brands Hatch and Thruxton. A few silly mistakes on my part, plus some bad luck, meant that I wasn’t always able to convert that pace into results, but it was very encouraging all the same!
The most dramatic event was, without question, the last of the season at Snetterton. I was in the middle of a battle for 3rd with Nigel Reuben (who won the championship by a mile) which I was enjoying hugely. At one point, we went through the Russell chicane side-by-side and crossed the line with less than a hundredth of a second separating us 🙂 The lap after that, however, we came across a group of backmarkers fighting among themselves as we approached a very fast right-hand bend. Nigel went to the left and I went to the right. In the process Russ Melrose and I found ourselves both trying to use the same piece of tarmac at well over 100mph. We touched wheels and this was the result!
You will be pleased to know that Russ walked away – the only serious injury he sustained was some scalding from engine coolant which sprayed on his shoulder from a fractured pipe. The car, unfortunately, did not fare so well, with nothing salvageable whatsoever 😦
I have to say that Russ has been unbelievably understanding about the whole incident. I wouldn’t have been surpried if he never spoke to me again, but he has in fact been extremely gracious. He’s certainly going to have a story to tell down the pub which will trump just about anything!
The other recent highlight was the Autosport Show in early January – in which we put on a show 4 times a day in the “Live Action Arena”. Lots of fun (if hard work!) and an excellent advert for the series!
The series looks to be going from strength to strength, with the factory unable to build new chassis fast enough. A lot of people are upgrading their engines though, so I’m going to have my work cut out to stay in touch with my trusty, but now somewhat outdated 1999 engine on carburettors!