Monday, July 1, 2013

A trip north, some good news and plenty to keep us busy!

Since you last heard from me life has been a bit hectic.  I haven’t had time to stop and think let alone sit and type!  It all began with a trip north to Crimond to give John a hand at his last meeting.  It’s fair to say that Crimond is a long way from home for me - at least three hours further up the country than John’s house and easily the furthest north I’ve ever been in the UK!  It’s a nice track and I always enjoy visiting new places.  Just Mendips to go now then I will have been to every track the Nationals are currently racing on.

It wasn’t the best day for John as he got spun in every race.  Going in to the day it was still possible on paper for him to win the points but sadly it wasn’t to be.  Second was enough to see him qualify for the world final and considering he didn’t have a car until two days before the first round that isn’t bad going at all.  The day wasn’t a complete loss though and it’s always great to embark on a road trip with your mates - and we did stop and have some of the best fish and chips I have ever tasted on the way home!

The next morning was a panic to get back to Oxford, get changed and head off to David (Haird)’s funeral.  There was an accident on the M25 causing a two hour delay, but after a bit of a detour we made it.  It was a lovely service and a great send off for a great man.  It was brilliant to see so many people there, and it shows how much everyone thought of David.

With the last round rapidly approaching it looked quite safe that I’d make the world final grid, but it’s never over until it’s over and there was everything still to play for at Hednesford.  The day didn’t start off well with me hitting some oil and going into the fence within the first few laps.  I wasn’t the only one though and I think that one bend claimed over half the cars that started the race.  I expected the damage to be heavy but it wasn’t as bad as it first looked and a few minutes, a piece of aluminium and some pop rivets soon had it ready to go again, even if it did look a bit sorry for itself.

The next race was much better and even though I didn’t perform any miracles I crossed the line 7th.  And then the last race of this year’s qualifying campaign was on us and that turned out to be a great race too.  Since putting the new engine in, Hednesford has gone from being one of my least favourite tracks to one of those I enjoy most!  After some good racing I crossed the line in 4th, but Gavin was black flagged putting me up into 3rd.

So that was it - the points championship was over.  I finished 14th overall and considering all the disasters I’ve had throughout the year I’m very pleased with that.  I wasn’t expecting to qualify at all, let alone in group four.  It’s been a really mixed year and one that has certainly taught me a lot.

Massive congratulations to Chris on winning the points for the 5th year in a row and to Jason for 2nd overall.  Robert and Danny deserve a pat on the back too for qualifying group one in their first year and I am slightly jealous!  Also, “Well done” to Glenn for winning the Northern Irish points - another victory to add to his rapidly increasing list of titles!  I might be wrong but I can see it being a Haird and Bell front row next Sunday, something I’m sure would make it into a very interesting race!

I gave the Thunder 500 a miss altogether this year and took a trip to the Royal Highland Show in Scotland instead.  The car wouldn’t have been ready anyway and it was fun to do something a bit different for a change.  The car is coming on very well now and has been stripped, cleaned and had some nice shiny new panels fitted.  TPR Signs have worked their magic once again and it has a cool new sticker job.  Today we are going to get the wheels sorted and then there are a few silly jobs and a set up to do and it will be ready.  I don’t want to speak too soon but this might be the one time we avoid the last minute rush!

I just want to say a huge “Thank You” to everyone who has made it possible to qualify for the world final:  my family, my sponsors, my friends - everyone!  I would never have done it without you!

Hopefully this lovely weather will hold out till after next weekend . . . I can’t wait!

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


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