Silverstone National – 2014

We arrived with the 451 on the Saturday, intending to set up the awning, and have a good nights rest before race day on the Sunday.

What we did not envisage was the wind overnight which kept us up most of the night as it was horrendous and we were having visions of the awning blowing down as it did 2 years ago at Brands Hatch.

Signing on was early with Qualifying at 09.40 and as I had never driven this circuit before was intrigued to see what it was like.

We decided to use the whole 30 minutes of qualifying to get used to the circuit and so went out  and started putting in 1.26 minute laps, each time getting faster until I set my fastest lap at 1.20.927 towards the end of the session, which I was extremely happy with, as James Palmer was out in his Brabus 451 and clocked a qualifying time of 1.19.217 having already raced here before and knowing the circuit much more than I did, being my first ever time here.

The race was at 3.35 in the afternoon and I felt confident about knowing the circuit better and was looking forward to the race itself. The wind though had not died down and before the race we had to pull down the awning on the truck for safety reasons. The wind could also be felt on the track as sometimes down the back straight a gust would suddenly hit you.

The start of the race was a mixture of confusion as a couple of cars collided on the first corner and we drove through the carnage, avoiding debris strewn across the track. By the second lap, the marshals had done there great usual job of clearing up and we could get on with the race. My times were getting faster and I was happy to see I had posted a faster time of 1.20.761 on lap 8 just before we pit stopped for our compulsory stop, being a 40 minute Endurance Race. Into the pits I came and as a single driver, got out of the car, closed the door, then got back in again and away uip the pit lane to get back out on the circuit.

Silverstone has what must be the longest pit lane and with a maximum speed of 60KMPH my over exuberance got the better of me and I crept over the limit towards the exit of the pit lane.

It was not until I saw my number being held out by the marshals that I knew I had gone over the speed for definite and had to come in for a stop go penalty. This added a further 30 seconds on to my time and I knew that at best I would finish further down than I had hoped for.

At the end of the race I was glad to see the chequered flag as was not only suffering from lack of sleep from the night before, but my frustration at myself for my over exuberance in the pit lane and overall, very pleased with my times compared to others that knew the track much more than me.

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