Walter Hayes Trophy 2018
In brief, our speed was there, but unfortunately luck failed to fall in our direction.
Testing - We were quick throughout practice, posting the fastest time on Wednesday, and matching the fastest on Thursday and Friday.
Qualifying - We were the first qualifying out and in damp but drying conditions we put it on Pole Position by half a second.
Heat Race - I was leading until about 4 laps in when I missed a gear, over revved the engine, and lost about a second a lap in performance. Fortunately I still managed to finish 2nd. I was frustrated with my mistake, but got over it and set my focus to Sunday’s Semi Final.
Semi Final - I gave it everything at the start and moved from 5th up to 2nd in the first couple of corners. The car felt amazing, I spent the next 4 laps sat behind the leader, I felt my pace was better at this stage in the race. I was looking to extend the gap between myself and the cars behind, hoping I’d have a chance to make a challenge for the lead in the remaining few laps. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be, as I exited copse on lap 5 the engine lost a ton of power and I began to fall backwards rapidly. A red flag was brought out a lap later because of a major incident. The race was to be restarted, I would restart in 4th. I was however losing 15mph on the straights and therefore it was going to be extremely tough to hold position. I lost a bunch of places immediately, but somehow managed to finish 11th which was pretty fortunate considering the major setback.
Final - As I sat on the grid, I felt lucky to still be in the WHT, I was pretty certain at the restart in the Semi Final that I wouldn’t be able to hold the required position in order to progress. Starting 22nd I worked my way up the field, and would eventually finish 9th.
It was a good result all things considered but I couldn’t help feel a little dejected about the final two big races of the year. I had the speed, even when I made a mistake on the Saturday, I gave it everything to come back through the field, to then have another failure. It’s just the way it goes, that’s racing, I’ve been fortunate in other respects this year.
I have some amazing friends, who helped cheer me up at the end of the day. It’s not all about winning, although it’s a rather big part of why I’m out there. 😁 Still great fun! As always, a massive thank you to the Kevin Mills Racing team! I hope to be back in search of glory next year! 💪🏻
Thank you to Bourne Photo for the pictures!