|Posted by Nathan Ward on April 2, 2013 at 9:20 AM|
The first round of the Castle Combe FF1600 championship took place on 1st April 2013, which concidently was my teammate Mark De Rozarieux's birthday. To celebrate this day, EMAX team manager Glen Finn had arranged for Mark to have a lap of the circuit in the winners car after the race and I was determined to be there alongside him.
The qualifying session was a busy one with several drivers being over ten seconds off the pace. This meant that after only 2-3 laps I was having to negotiate back markers every lap. Thanks to an fast out lap I posted the third fastest time overall but the track was starting to rubber in as the session went on so I found myself as low down as tenth overall (third in class). Thankfully I was then able to find a gap and put in a fast lap right at the end of the session and pulled myself up to sixth overall (second in class, two tenths behind the class pole time).
With a tweak on the car setup and a change in tyre pressures I lined up in the formation area as the sun began to peep through the clouds. I knew that my best chance to make up places would be at the first corner so I had to get my Swift off the line as quickly as possible.
Getting a monster launch and great start I found myself right behind the leader into the first corner. I settled down into position and was holding in the front pack with the faster, more advanced class A cars.
After 15 long laps I took the chequered flag in fifth place overall but crucially first place in class and having the class fastest lap too. This meant I came away from the meeting with a maximum points haul and am now leading the class championship by a very healthy 4 points. Not only that, I acheived my objective of being able to ride in the winners car with Mark and the other class winners.
Next race, Early Summer Bank Holiday weekend where I will be looking to extend my lead in the class championship...