Motorsports

Radical Awards Evening, Wasn’t Expecting This!

posted on Mon, 28 Jan 2019 04:02:35
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Hi Everyone,

In a nice way to look back at last year Radical hold a yearly awards evening where everyone gets a chance to dress up in their finest, have a nice meal and celebrate the winners from the season that is now behind us, this was my first year obviously, it was held at the Belfry and I have to say that it really was a brilliant evening with a fantastic live band that really rocked, although having to wear a Tux is always a little odd.

So obviously as I came 2nd in my class I wasn’t expecting anything, I will actually upload the last lap when I get a moment from the last race at Brands Hatch to show how close losing a championship by 0.2 sec looks like, I think that will haunt me forever. So anyway I was chatting to Wendy when I heard my name called out and unexpectedly I thrust from my seat and before I knew it I was on the stage accepting my award for ‘First of the Losers’ :-) Seriously though it was a nice touch and actually a really nice trophy that will take pride of place in the HFL office as something to spur me on to go one better this coming season :-)

Thanks again to Radical for hosting a brilliant evening, to Darren Winter for being a brilliant Mechanic through last season and also to Tom Gladdis for attempting to coach me on how to drive faster and especially to our sponsors for helping to make last season possible as I am sure it won’t come as a big surprise that motorsport really isn’t cheap, right that is the Oscar speech part out of the way, here’s looking forward to doing it all again this coming year :-)

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Blimey, wasn’t expecting this.

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I’ll definitely take 2nd in the Fangio Class in my first year :-)

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Cheers,

Paul.


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Well This is Surreal :-)

posted on Sat, 05 Jan 2019 03:13:01

Hi Everyone,

Hilariously there is a picture of me racing at Brands hatch a couple of months ago in this months ‘Motorsport’ Magazine with Mike Hawthorn on the front cover, now that is something I never thought I’d be saying :-)

It is actually a really interesting article about a rookie going racing written by the magazines photographer who was given the opportunity by Radical to move to other side of the lens and follow his dream of being a racing driver for one race which reminded me a lot of my first year last year.

Looks like I’m going to be changing teams for this coming season which is still being finalised, hopefully they can make my car quicker as obviously it is not me that is too slow ;-)

Cheers,

Paul.


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End Of Season Brands Hatch Report, Missed The Fangio Title By 0.2 Sec, Doh!

posted on Mon, 19 Nov 2018 12:16:49
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Hi All,

So almost as if it was all a dream my first season pretending to be a racing driver is over, talk about all over in the blink of an eye, I wish my driving was that fast :-) Seriously though it really does feel like only the other day we were at the Autosport show in January signing on the dotted line to join the Radical SR1 Cup championship.

So how has it been? In all honestly it has been great fun but it has transpired that it is most definitely a lot harder in real life than it looks on the TV, I am no longer an arm chair critic when watching motorsport on TV :-) 

I really thought I would be a lot more competitive than I was and I think I really did underestimate the task at hand, I think the main issue was getting used to a downforce car, it really is a matter of how brave are you, I have no problem with acceleration and top speed but going into a blind corner at say 90 MPH really makes you take notice.

Saying all this once I got to Donington, the 2nd from last race meeting of the season, I felt like I was starting to get somewhere, even though the races were not the best in the build up I found some time and it felt like I made some progress, funnily enough it has turned out that I like chasing lap time, ie going for a fast lap but come the race I seem to loose some speed, maybe I’m more suited to hill climbing :-) 

And even though it is supposed to be fun it really does play with your head, you just can’t help but get caught up in it all and end up feeling really disappointed and down when you don’t perform too well where the reality should be that you should be buzzing from driving a racing car round some of the best racks in the UK, I guess it is just the competitive edge coming in.

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Brands Hatch Report, The Fangio Title Up For Grabs.

So our season finished at Brands Hatch last weekend, another circuit I had never driven before, we were in the shorter Indy layout but we still had to deal with Paddock Hill bend which I was dreading before I got there, I had seen enough cars go off their over the years on TV, it looked terrifying, as it turned out I loved Brands, seemed to suit my driving, I guess other than paddock there are no balls out corners, it very much reminded me of a big go kart track.

So amazingly I arrived at Brands 9 points off the lead in the Fangio Cup, basically the old buggers cup for over 45′s, I was racing David Tagg for the title, basically if I could beat him in both races I could take the title by 1 point but to be fair David had been quicker than me all year so my expectations weren’t very high.

For the Friday test it was wet conditions which it turned out suited me and I was probably the most competitive I had been all year so roll on a wet Saturday race day I thought. So come Saturday morning Qualifying, which was wet, I out qualified David for both races so that was part 1 complete but I still felt David would out race me, what followed was a brilliant race where we were swapping positions and trading paintwork but in the end I beat David to close the gap to 4 points with 1 race left.

Unfortunately for me anyway, the track had totally dried for race 2 so my advantage in the wet was gone but we still had an epic race and we almost crossed the finish line together with me just 0.2 second behind David meaning that he deservedly won the title and I lost out by the smallest of margins but I actually was fine with it as I had 2 brilliant races that really were fit for a championship decider, at last it felt like I was really racing which meant I left Brands buzzing and ready to try again next year.

So congratulations to David for winning but I would like to say a massive thanks to our sponsors for supporting me this year, I’ll be coming round with my cap begging again soon for donations for next year ;-) but thanks again to Chord Electronics, PMC Speakers, Trilogy Audio, Naim Audio, Rega, Atlas Cables and HiFi Pig, also thanks to Daz at UPE Motorsport for being a top bloke and running my car all year and also for Tom Gladdis for trying to coach me, he must have the patience of a saint.

So looking back it was epic fun, scary, frustrating and disappointing all in at the same time, I guess that is the same for any sport though but only after 1 week I am gagging to get back out in the car again, roll on next year.

Cheers,

Paul.

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Donington Race Weekend Report!

posted on Mon, 24 Sep 2018 07:51:59

Hi Everyone, 

So a couple of weeks ago we raced at Donington Park, I have to say that is one of my favourite tracks so far, we actually had 3 days there so 2 days of testing which we shared with taking our competition winners out in the car and then qualy and race day, I went in to the event determined to throw caution to the wind and to try and make some real progress which I feel I did at the end of the 2 days of testing then we got to race day where it all went horribly wrong.

Basically the weather was pretty mixed, when full wet on the Thursday I tip toed round without any mistakes but on race day for Qualy we had a damp drying track which was interesting trying to find the grip but in the end I got pole in both races in my ‘Fangio’ Class which I was happy with, but that was the last time I was happy with anything for the rest of the weekend as for the first race we went out on dry tyres and the rain really started to come down and I actually spun 3 times on my out lap, more a lack of skill than anything to be honest, doh, that really took being a novice to a new level, once I settled into the groove though times weren’t too bad but the damage had been done but at least we finished the race which quite a few didn’t, then for race 2 I went out on wets as it had been raining a fair bit and although it had stopped I thought the track would be damp but in the end it was really dry so I made a bad choice there.

It was such a shame as I really felt we were going to have a good race day but in the end it was a real weekend of ups and downs, we found more speed in the dry but was rubbish in the wet and in this country racing in the wet is a skill that needs mastering, more experience learned I guess.

So there is only one race weekend left now, Brand Hatch in November, really can’t believe it is nearly all over, it is all still to play for though in the Fangio Trophy as we are 2nd just 9 points of the lead, here’s hoping for a dry race day :-)

Fastest Lap of the Weekend which I was reasonably happy with -

A few pictures from the event.

Ah yeah and it fell on my 50th Birthday so maybe all the cake slowed me down :-)

Cheers,

Paul.


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A Radical Day Out At Donington For Our Competition Winners :-)

posted on Wed, 19 Sep 2018 13:25:45
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Hi Everyone,

A bit late with this one as it was a couple of weeks ago but just back from our hols so just got round to posting, just wanted to say thanks to our competition winners for coming along to Donington Park for 5 laps each round the full GP track, there were a lot of smiles once everyone got out the car, I think everyone was blown away by the braking power and cornering speed.

Thanks also to Tom for taking everyone round and for Darren at UPE Motorsport for helping run the day that went off without a hitch, well till the end of the day when the diff failed but at least everyone’s passenger laps were completed by then so it was good timing to be honest, also thanks to Ollie Read for taking the excellent photo’s of the day.

Finally thanks to Chord Electronics and PMC Speakers for helping support the day and great to meet the guys and girls from our new sponsors Hifi Pig, hopefully we can do it again next year :-)

Please find a few pictures below from the day - 

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Playtimes over :-(

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Cheers,

Paul.


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Cadwell Park Race Weekend Photo’s + Video Report!

posted on Sat, 28 Jul 2018 08:31:55
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Hi Everyone,

Well firstly I have to say that I have never driven Cadwell Park before and I have heard mixed reports from various people that I would either love it or hate it due to it being very narrow with the barriers very close and that you actually get airborne at the so called ‘Mountain’ well I am pleased to say that I actually loved this track, definitely one of my favourites and in a very picturesque setting it really is tough to beat.

So how did the weekend go? well in all honestly I am getting really frustrated now that I am just not quicker, everyone tells me the first year is all about learning and that I have jumped in at the deep end with a Radical but in my head I am Nigel Mansell but in reality I am more like Driving Miss Daisy :-)

So in the end it was a weekend of highs and lows, one minute I love being in the car and the overall speed, then I get frustrated as I want to be quicker then I relax and love it again, one thing is for sure, this motorsport thing certainly challenges you emotionally as well as mentally, it really gets in your head, which is crazy really as this is supposed to be fun but you just can’t help getting caught up in the whole thing and putting yourself under pressure, which I guess is only natural.

Overall though Cadwell was a great experience and I learnt a little more, now I just need to to teach my brain to get off the brakes a little earlier and get on the power quicker, how hard can that really be :-)

Off to Donnington Park next for my 50th Birthday weekend over the weekend of September 8th, hopefully I can have a breakthrough here and really get on top if this car which really is easier said than done, loads of PMA needed :-)

Please keep an eye out as I will be announcing a pretty cool competition shortly where you can win some laps as a passenger with my coach at Donnington on September 7th.

Please find my fastest lap below, never did get the hang of the 1st corner really -

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Silverstone SR1 Photo Book + Fastest Lap & Cockup Video!

posted on Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:52:19

Hi All,

Well the weekend was definitely a big tick on my bucket list to say that I have now raced at Silverstone :-)

In all honesty though I really thought this would be my best track as I had driven it before in a Caterham but in reality it turned out to be a real bogey track, I made progress on the quick guys and I was generally OK everywhere other than Maggott’s, I just couldn’t get that corner right all weekend, as you can see from a clip taken from Qualifying, I was determined to get it right but in the end I think I was just trying too hard so in this clip you will see the first damage I have done to the car by hitting a cone pretty hard which split my front splitter, then I did my quickest lap of the weekend, a 1.02.27, then I attacked again and went straight on at Maggots and had a nice chat with the marshalls, certainly an entertaining qualifying session.

At the end of the weekend though I was fairly happy as I drove as hard as I could, it just wasn’t quick enough compared to the rest of the grid finishing both races towards the back, Cadwell Park next though which looks terrifying but as I have found out at Silverstone you never know which tracks will suit your driving style so fingers crossed.

Please find a few pictures below from the weekend.

Cheers,

Paul.


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