|Posted by Nathan Ward on June 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM|
For the second year running the Summer Racing Carnival round at Castle Combe has proven to be a weekend of both extremes. Last year a DNF in race 1 was followed by a storming drive through the field up to 15th place. This year started with a very tricky qualifying session. The session on track before the Formula Fords had left almost half of the circuit covered in oil and this meant that the first 3 laps of the session were spent driving through plumes of concrete dust with almost zero visibility. Eventually I was able to put together a clean lap and qualified 10th overall and 7th in class with a time of 1.11.94 and eight of the drivers ahead of me were all within 9 tenths of a second of that time, meaning one of the closest grids in many races.
The race was extremely eventful and I was involved in a race long battle for 7th position. After changing position 2-3 times per lap it was extremely close racing! Unfortunately, an accident at Camp corner meant that the race had to be red flagged and ended after only 8 racing laps. In this situation the race results are declared as the finishing order of the previous lap which meant that I had finished 7th overall and 2nd in class by only 9 hundredths of a second.
Starting 7th for the Sunday race put me in a great position to have another fantastic race, unfortunately an accident at the first corner meant that I was unable to compete in the race.
I had a great start and was challenging for 5th over the rise and as I was turning in to Quarry corner I was hit on the right rear corner and another car launched right up and over mine, coming down across my cockpit as it landed.
The race was quickly red flagged and I was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the medical centre. After an assessment I was transferred to the Royal United Hospital in Bath and after a couple of hours in A&E I had my humerus Xrayed. Thankfully there were no breaks and no evidence of any hairline fractures. The diagnosis was that I had suffered deep tissue/muscle damage, which sounds a lot more serious than it actually is. With a week or so of rehabilitation exercises I should regain full range of movement and strength. The next round of the championship is not for another 3 weeks meaning I will be ready to carry on with the championship and I am looking forward to some more close racing.
It is less than 48 hours after the car was recovered from Quarry corner and it is already back on its own wheels; with both wishbones, the push rod and steering arm all back together. A new roll bar has been manufactured and the bodywork moulds are being prepared. I cannot express how grateful I am to Gary Cann of Swift Cooper who has worked so hard over the past 18 months ensuring that I am in a competitive and reliable car as well as being easily the best looking car in the paddock.
I would also like to say a big thank you to all marshals, recovery crews and medical staff for their rapid response and kindness throughout the aftermath of the collision.