Wow, well, yesterday was the first event, a sprint day at Aintree in Liverpool. First off, a huge congratulations to the podium finishers, Matthew, Tristan, and Zolli, very well done chaps, .1 of a second isn't a lot! The top 5 in our group are separated by .4 of a second, yes 4 tenths of a second for 5 cars.
I drove up Friday, through the traffic jam known as the M6, was the third or fourth to arrive, but the first of the ones staying at the track, and the only one with a tent :-). I set up my tent, unpacked the car, and spent the afternoon hanging out with the various guys who turned up. Tristan was kind enough to feed me, there were other options, but some proper van cooked camping food seemed appealing.
After a good nights sleep, I awoke to the noise of trucks and cars towing trailers into the parking areas at around 6:45. A quick change into my racing suite, I jumped out and started prepping a couple bits on my own racing machine. A cup of tea later, and everything seemed ready, so it was off to hang out with the guys, and shoot the breeze while waiting for the day to begin.
At around 7:30 the faster cars of the day started waking up, several classic Lotus Formula cars blew the cobwebs out of their powerful engines, making sure the whole of Liverpool was awake to enjoy the music. Us Academy guys had a briefing and a course walk, followed by some hanging around waiting for our 55 seconds in the lime light. After all the other cars had taken their laps, we lined up in "strict numerical order", 100-126 is my group, group 1, and I'm 117, so 17th leaving the start beacon.
Despite the ominous clouds, it stayed bone dry all day. The two practices in the morning went off without a hitch, and everyone seemed to be figuring the out where the time was. Two pretty good laps down, and on the first timed run I do a really poor shift from 2nd-5th-1st-3rd, and then later 3rd-4th didn't want to go either. Even with all that kerfuffle, I was only half a second of my fastest practice. After lunch, we got two more timed runs in the afternoon, and in those I dropped my time to a rather respectable 54.5, .4 off of our groups first place 54.1.
I came in 5th, which is not a podium, but it is within hitting distance for next time :-D. I know for this event, I entered with entirely the wrong mindset, I am well aware of that, and will amend it for next time (sorry chaps for my grim face at the end of the day, it wasn't sporting).
It was a fantastic day, with fantastic weather, and great company to boot. Thanks to all the Caterham guys, and the marshals at Aintree, it was a great well organized day. I am thoroughly looking forward to Curborough, it will be a great day.
Video may come, I haven't checked the footage yet, but I have more from Castle Combe thats going to be heading it's way to youtube ASAP.