Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Foxhall under the lights

Well that definitely turned out to be a good night, and has made all the hard work and bad luck over the last few months all seem worth it.  Once again the car was faultless and everything just fell into place.
It was a dry night but cold and windy, and you can imagine my surprise when I pulled out onto the track for practice to find it soaking wet!   The sweeper had been round and washed all the shale off the track.  We went straight out after it had finished and obviously the track hadn’t dried out.  It made it an interesting practice but you could just about find a dry line by keeping the car really tight through the bends and then running right out to the wall on the straights.  Even in the bad conditions the car felt great so I really had no reason to moan.
I was to start my races from the first couple of rows all night and the first heat saw me starting on the front row outside of James O’Shea.   He had the legs on me at the start, got away and started to extend his lead.   I’m not really sure what happened next but something must have happened to James in the scoreboard bend and I was able to slip by and take the lead.   Although I managed to hold on to the lead until the end the whole pack was bunched up behind me and where the track was still damp there was just no outside line for them to be able to pass.   It felt brilliant to finally have another win, but the track conditions did help me a lot, and I don’t think I would ever have passed James had he not had a problem.   To me, Hot Rods is Foxhall under the floodlights though, so a win there felt great!
My second race saw me on the inside front row.    I lost a place at the line as Danny Hunn slid past me and into the lead.  Danny and I have had some cracking races recently and once again this one turned out to be pretty good, although I never really found myself in a position to get back past him - and spent most of the race chasing him round.   All the credit for this race goes to Steve Burrows though, who came flying past both of us to take the win.   With a third at the flag I was still over the moon.
The final had all the makings of what could be a pretty hectic race; lots of cars, a fast track but absolutely no outside line.   Luckily by starting at the front I was able to avoid all the carnage and get home in one piece.  I managed not to lose any places off the start but James was just gone from the front row and heading off into the lead and try as I might I couldn’t get myself into a position to even begin to challenge him.   This didn’t stop Steve - who was flying once again - from slipping past us both then roaring off into the distance for another win.   The top three didn’t change from there with James getting second and me crossing the line in third.
It had been a really top night and the car had stayed in one piece too, so an added bonus.   Nights like that really do bring home why we race and as you know I love it no matter what the result, but when you do get some luck it makes all the time and money you spend seem justified.   We had a good laugh in the pits and it was just a great meeting overall.
There has been no time for resting though and we have been straight back on the car getting it ready for the European on Saturday night.   Gavin has very kindly offered to take my car over with him in the back of his truck.   Racing in Ireland is another of those dreams I’ve always wanted to fulfil so thanks to Gavin in advance for giving me the opportunity.    He unfortunately suffered big damage at Foxhall and has been flat out making sure his car is ready to go.    We are getting the boat Thursday night so we can have a day off Friday.   We race Saturday night then get the boat straight home so we can all go back to work on Monday!
I know it’s going to be a top class weekend and although I’m probably a bit out of my league in terms of racing, I’m looking forward to trying a new track and just building on the experience.   I know we’re going to have a lot of laughs along the way, most of the jokes no doubt aimed at me!
All in all I have some fantastic friends and some brilliant times at racing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Thanks as ever for reading.
See you in Ireland.

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