This was a winter series race that started off with Group One cars and older but ended up also including Clio Cup cars and Classic Thunder/Mod Prods which can be a little overwhelming for the little Golf. Anyway – qualifying was drama free and after the dismal display ay Donington I got into stride early and managed to set a 59.5 – my quickest lap around Brands Hatch Indy by over a second. To be fair everyone was quicker in the cool conditions but it was good to know the Golf was truly back on form after the dismal race at Brands earlier in the year with a bent chassis.
So the first race starts. Despite the quick time I’m quite a way down the grid because of all the quicker cars. I’m quite tentative around Paddock Hill bend and Druids and end up following Andrew Guy down the hill to Graham Hill bend. He takes the corner very slowly then cruises along the back straight, blocking me and letting the rest of the grid disappear. Turns out he’s got a loose front wheel bearing and he pulls into the pit lane, by the time he does this I’ve followed him around the whole of Clearways and the cars ahead are a long way off. I do my best to catch up but the race lasts a rather meagre 9 mins and before I know it the chequered flag is out. Not the best race of my Group One career.
Race 2 is the next day so after a relaxing start we queue up in the paddock to try and work out how the grid has been formed. Turns out its on our second fastest qualifying lap, rather unfair for those who’d done a flying lap and then relaxed! Anyway so such excuses for me since I’m never confident I’ve EVER set a proper flying lap so I do OK and end up alongside the Fuller Capri and ahead of Andrew Guy’s XR3. That didn’t last long as I made a poor start and seemed to go backwards around turn one. The XR3 got ahead of me and try as I might I couldn’t make any ground on him as battled with the Tom Bateson Scirocco on Toyo tyres. He was quicker than me but I was determined to stay ahead so spent all 8 laps on the inside of every corner watching a very large pale blue VW in my mirrors. I crossed the line just ahead and our fastest lap times proved to be exactly the same to the hundredth of a second. A great close race to end the season.