The end of a season
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Firstly, I want to apologise for not having written and updated this blog in the last 2 months. We’ve had quite an eventful end to the season and although it has not been quite what we would have hoped for, we’ve learned enough to give us something to really look forward to for next year. Before I go on to summarise the last couple of races of the 2022 season, I wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone who has got behind and supported me this year. A special mention goes to Chris Molloy who, without him, none of this would even be possible, Tucker Motorsport for providing us with everything necessary to achieve the best results and Mike Lillywhite and his team at Lillywhite Bros for all of he car care between races.
Cadwell Park 20/08/2022- My first (and hopefully last) big crash!
Having started the season in a strong way and with high hopes of achieving a good result in the overall championship, I was keen to move on from my silly mistake at Brands Hatch (link to post here) and try to claw back some valuable points lost. Unfortunately, we learnt the hard lesson of what happens when you keep pushing a car to its limit. Sometimes you get lucky and find a gravel pit, sometimes you’re met with a tyre wall… you can guess which way my luck went!
As briefly mentioned above, we were entering this weekend with a new found focus and were eager to get back to the front of the pack.
We were pushing hard and finding extra time with each lap that went by, before running wide on the exit of Charlies onto Park Straight and finding myself on the grass. I knew that in these circumstances it was important to be gentle with all car inputs and try to slowly lead the car back onto the circuit. Unfortunately, I lost traction and the rear started to come around. With a slight downwards slope, the car made its way back across the track and I started heading for the tyre wall. At this point I was still doing just over 70mph and knew this was going to hurt. All that went through my mind before impact was the disappointment of knowing I was about to ruin the team, and Chris’ weekend (who I share the car with at these race meetings). It was all over before I could work out what was going on. The Marshalls and Paramedics were with me before I really knew what was happening. I managed to climb out of the car and make my way into the ambulance where they were able to assess me before taking me to the medical centre.
Much to my disbelief, and full credit to the amazing team at Tucker, within 2 hours, the car was ready to go out for Chris’ qualifying. Granted it was missing a windscreen and looked like it had been through a few rounds of stock car racing but nonetheless it had passed scrutineering and was back out on track!
The other bit of good news was that the lap before my crash, I had managed to put the car 3rd place on the grid, so providing the medics signed me off as fit to race, I was still in a position to get some good points.
Original video by Pescara Productions found here
Still running high on adrenaline I lined the car up on the second row of the grid. Cadwell Park is a very narrow and twisty motorbike circuit and so I knew if I could keep the car wide enough, despite it being a bit bent and slower on the straights due to aerodynamic issues I should be able to hold my position. It was a tough race knowing the cars behind were quicker but, through sheer determination and perseverance, I kept them behind me and managed 3rd place.
Another few hours had passed and all of the adrenaline had now worn off. I was in a lot of pain and mentally questioning whether or not this race was a good idea. Knowing I couldn’t afford to miss out on any more points, I reluctantly lined back up on the starting grid in 3rd place and did everything I could to get through the next 15 minutes of the race.
A big thank you this weekend goes to the Marshalls for the speed in which they repaired the circuit, the Paramedics and Doctors for their care and efficiency. Chris, Dad, Russell, Jack and Fi for their support and encouragement (even if the accident did scare them all to death!). And lastly, James & Paul Tucker, and the rest of the Tucker team. It was a tremendous team effort which brought us all together to do what we needed to do in order to be back out racing.
Donington 25/09/2022- the penultimate race of the year.
Still recovering from broken ribs and a dented ego, I rocked up to Donington, admittedly feeling a little anxious but positive and raring to go.
We hadn’t had a chance to fully repair the car but had decided that with a new windscreen and some new body panels giving the car a patchwork quilted look, we should still perform ok….but we were wrong.
Testing had proven difficult with us struggling to get the car setup correct. As it turned out, the chassis was much more bent than we had originally thought. All we could do now was to go out and do our best.
There’s not much to say about qualifying. Our pace wasn’t where it was supposed to be and despite trying as hard as we could, all we could manage was 10th place. It was going to be a long day!
Starting this far back and knowing we didn’t have much pace, I knew we needed to just maximise our chances by forcing others into errors and capitalising on their mistakes.
This worked relatively well as before long we were up into 5th place behind my teammate, Nick Le Doyen, who was flying this weekend may I add! I was trying to work my way passed him and then saw he had received a 5 second time penalty for track limits. This meant we could sit behind him and know we would get 4th place by the end of the race.
After struggling off the start, another issue with the car had emerged. We were having difficulty finding 3rd and 4th gear. We dropped further and further down the field ending the race in 9th place.
This unfortunately is where our season would end. The car was too far gone to repair in time for the last race and with funds low, we decided to put everything into next season instead.
A special shoutout to teammate Declan McDonnell who drove faultlessly this season and took the Clubman Championship win for Tucker Motorsport. It was an absolutely pleasure being your teammate both on and off track!
Race footage below courtesy of the BRSCC with live commentary.
Fast forward to 0:22:15 for Race 1 and 4:47:00 for Race 2
(Fast Forward to 2:20)
Thank you again to all my special sponsors. None of this would be possible without you. Here's to next season