December 17, 2018

To start the story of this season we have to rewind back to April 2017. I came over to work for DPO as they built their Ford Focus RS Mk3 to defend the Bathurst 6hr crown, which we came painfully close to doing with a brand new, previously un-raced car. The following week was the Supercars round at Phillip Island... so naturally the plan was to go down, scout around and check out some of the series on offer in support as I looked for my next driver move - namely the Toyota 86 Racing Series.

On the Monday as I was making plans to head down from Sydney, it turned out a cousin of Gerry's (the relative I'd been staying with) was a crew chief on one of the cars, so it made sense to set up a time to come and meet and chat T86RS. It was during that phone call I was told they weren't going as the driver (Kane Baxter-Smith's) wife had just gone into labour - prompting the question, "so you need a driver?"

What followed was not just a frantic series of calls to arrange licence visas, insurance...

February 14, 2018

"I've never seen that before" the doctor said in surprise as I showed her a slow-mo on-board video of the crash which left me sitting in her hospital room, arm in a sling. I didn't realise at that point how serious the injury was or how long it would take me to recover.

Two hours earlier I was starting from pole position at the UK's fastest race track, Thruxton, in my farewell race to the Toyota MR2 Championship which had started my car racing career (/hobby?). I'd set the lap record in the previous race, smashing the fastest lap with only one other driver out of 30 able to get within a second of my time. Over 93mph average speed. Easy win right?

Well all I had to do was get off the line.

The 1st-2nd gear change was always tough in that car, and right on cue I missed the first attempt, immediately dropping to 4th place and hugging the inside to stay out the way. With one hand on the wheel and one hand on the gear stick ready for the 2nd-3rd shift, I was hit across the nose. Hard. Now po...

November 29, 2017

Don't get me wrong, I love winning. The goal of winning is why we do what we do. But I've always had one eye on the prize and one eye on becoming a better driver and improving myself in whatever way necessary. So I don't see losing as such a bad thing. If I won my first ever race, what would I have learnt? The challenge teaches you about your weaknesses and gives you an opportunity to be better next time, with the ultimate goal to be the best. The same attitude is why I've never stayed long enough to dominate any one series; I would rather take a step up before I lose the challenge. Despite this approach costing me more quotable success, I have faith it will pay off in the long run. You can't let yourself stand still if you want to progress.

I had a kart race last week which, despite fighting for the lead and having pace to win, was one of my worst drives for a long time. I made stupid mistakes and eventually threw it off, taking out another competitor in the process and getting my fi...

November 24, 2017

28th October 2017, Silverstone. The UK's Largest annual race is due to start in under an hour and we've lost 2 of our 4 cars in qualifying for this tough 6 hour. A few frantic team discussions and it's decided that we will drop down from a 5 to a 4 driver team, and switch one of our drivers into another car. We are now an all GT86 team with majority MR2 drivers. I will be starting the race and heading into the unknown with regards to our fuel situation - we don't know how long we can run for... so this stint will dictate the strategy for the rest of the race. 30mins in and it doesn't look good, we were hoping to stretch out to a 4-stinter; running for 1:20 each, but my fuel is already touching half, we're way under.

I come in on the 60min mark with us looking at a 6-stinter, but we've forgotten that the other car is running a longer final drive ratio. The next stint is 75mins, and the one after that by another driver in my car is 70mins by running at a slightly lower pace. The 4th sti...

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