Monday, December 5, 2011

Twenty-Eleven Part 1

I still can’t get my head round the fact that the racing for 2011 has finished.    I don’t know how a year can possibly go by as quickly as this one did.   It’s been another mixed year with some obvious highs and some pretty dramatic lows.    It’s still fair to say that I’ve loved every second though - I completely live for my racing and every spare minute and pound all goes towards it.   While I’m young and in the position to enjoy it I’m going to make the most of every opportunity I can.
The year began with me participating in the live action arena at the Autosport show.   I have been to the show every year as long as I can remember and it’s been great to be involved with it for the last couple of years.    Racing in there under the lights is a completely different experience to what you get normally and the atmosphere is brilliant, and as for the nights out - well they could be a blog all on their own . . .
I was lucky enough to spend the entire second half of the 2011 season in the top twenty of the points and although I loved all the meetings there were a couple that really stood out to me as being good  ones. The first of these was the Aldershot meeting.   It all looked set to be a day to forget with the bonnet coming off during the first lap of practice and every car on the track running over it.   We did a very elegant repair with aluminium and tape only for me to bend an axle in the first race.  With the help of team Kew and a very hung-over Ross we changed that and got it out for the second race. It made all the effort worthwhile as I finished second and had a really good race with Dave Brooks.  The final then turned out to be one of my favourite races of the year and saw me finish with another second.    Just goes to show that you can’t give up on a bad day!
The other meeting that really stood out for me was the annual trip to Skegness.   Although it’s the furthest track away from us I really enjoy our trip there.   I think it’s a great little track and the car always seems to go well there.   We have a laugh on the way up there too stopping for breakfast and just making it a good day out.    The racing was good with me getting an 8th, a 3rd and a 14th in the final.    I remember kicking myself after the final for not giving it my best shot but still a great day none the less.
After the points had finished we were lucky enough to have qualified for the ‘big race’ and we had a busy month stripping the car down and rebuilding it in readiness.    Jay once again did a top job with the graphics and in my opinion the car looked stunning when we rolled it out of the garage ready to load into the trailer.  I’m sure some of you will be aware that we have been working closely with Sonny Howard at SHP to develop the car this year and I just want to take the opportunity to thank Sonny for all the help and support he has given me throughout the year.   The car gets better every time I drive it and a lot of this is down to Sonny’s vast knowledge on everything Hot Rod. 
Although I love every meeting I know nothing will ever come close to the experience of this year’s world final.  I had dreamed of doing it since I was a kid and the atmosphere on the parade lap and as you’re sat there on the grid is just brilliant.   Unfortunately I didn’t get to finish the race but just being there was amazing and probably one of the best days of my life to date.  
Rather than try and cram the whole year into one week I’ll leave it here for this week and then pick up with the second half of the year next week.
Thanks as ever for reading.
Until next week

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