My race day is back on track

IT seems that the Britcar Championships came a bit too soon in the process of my training to become a more rounded driver.

Last week I received a call from Mazda’s head of PR, Graeme Fudge, to say that my seat in a Mazda MX-5 sports car, at the Thruxton round of the event, would have to be canned.

He revealed: “The requirements of the Britcar organisers have changed and you now need a National A racing licence to compete. I’m afraid that means that your race is over before it began.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It appears that Britcar had rather thrown the announcement of the change in rules at potential competitors somewhat at the last minute.

Graeme went on: “At the first race they had to send six drivers and an entire team home because they had turned up under the impression they could race without the National A licence as they had in previous years.”

My 2011 race debut, it seemed, was hanging in the balance.

But Graeme had a back-up plan, and it means that my day on the track is still imminent.

On June 18 I will now be heading to Oulton Park, Cheshire, to compete in a round of the MX-5 Cup.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As the name suggests, it’s a race series contested by a gaggle of Mazda’s two-seater sports cars, and an event which is crafting a growing reputation thanks to its relative affordability (in motorsport terms) and fun.

In all honesty, it sounds like slightly less of a baptism of fire than Britcar, where I would have been sharing track space with everything from BMW M3s and Porsche GT3s to Marcos and Mosler race cars.

Oulton Park is also I track that I have driven before, albeit in a slightly more laid-back track day scenario.

My MX-5 race day will take the form of two 20-minute sprint races, so it should serve up a fair adrenaline hit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To prepare me for the event—and hopefully ensure that I’m not so nervous I wet my race suit on the start line—I’ll be heading to Donington Park next week for some professional tuition with bona-fide racer Mark Hales.

Mark has the pleasure of being the man trusted with the classic car collection of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and once drove his £5,000,000 Ferrari GTO to victory in the Le Mans Classic.

Impressive credentials! I, however, once beat a BMW 530d away from the traffic lights at the former B&Q roundabout in a Toyota Prius. It should be a meeting of two motoring greats...

Watch this space.

Related topics: