I’m very much looking forward to racing again this coming weekend after an enforced break – and certainly it’ll feel different as I’m now a very proud father to George, my first child.
More details on that later after I’ve brought you up to date on my racing activities since my last column – although that won’t take long.
My last races were on “home” soil when I recorded two eleventh place finishes in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill at the end of July – but that only tells half a miserable story racing back in Scotland.
I suffered a couple of scary barrel rolls in testing on the eve of the event after being hit up the rear. It severely damaged my Toro Verde GT entered 911 to the extent it was not repairable at the track.
I was totally blameless for the incident but thankfully was only shaken up and bruised. I was being supported at Knockhill by Dumfriesshire sponsors, PyroDry and Carronbridge Sawmills plus I’d got a lot of partners, prospects and guests attending the weekend’s action in attendance, the majority from around Scotland, but with some coming from as far away as Denmark.
So I was indebted to Toro Verde and Parker Racing as the former gave me permission to switch to the latter’s “spare” Porsche. I took to the track in the loaned 911 for the very first time in Saturday’s qualifying time trials, far from ideal but with no other option due to the event timetable.
I recorded thirteenth quickest and in Race 1, I did well to avoid a start-line accident, which unfortunately involved by soon to be brother-in-law Matty Graham, and completed the opening lap placed ninth.
The race was red-flagged due to the wrecked cars on the grid and unfortunately, I had to take the re-start from my original grid position and came home eleventh – a position I repeated in Race 2. Looking back, after what had happened in testing, it was just a relief to be racing and take the chequered flag in both races. I was also indebted to Peter Gronbjerg who celebrated his tenth year of supporting me at Knockhill.
I then attended the MotoGP at Silverstone which was cool. It was nice to hang out in the BRDC Clubhouse and do some networking. Watching two-wheel action as opposed to four-wheel was mind blowing in terms of what those guys can achieve. It was also interesting to compare the lap times of a MotoGP bike to a GT3 car which was actually very similar.
Unfortunately for me, Toro Verde GT had done a deal with another driver to race at the next Porsche event at Snetterton in mid-August but I went along anyway to give some guidance to their driver and to support Matty who was racing despite broken bones in his foot and who incredibly won the second Porsche race.
With the imminent arrival of our baby, I stayed at home with Emma over the Thruxton weekend over 27-28 August rather than racing the Porsche again. Watching bits of the races on television was surreal.
Thankfully baby George William arrived safe and sound on the morning of Monday 29 August and Emma, although exhausted, came through the momentous experience very strong and despite some sleepless nights, we’re thoroughly enjoying being parents.
But now it’s back to racing, at Silverstone, on the National circuit in what is the penultimate rounds of the Porsche series prior to the finale at Brands Hatch over 8-9 October. I’m very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel again after a near two-month break. Hopefully I can steer clear of too much drama on this occasion!