Well that’s it for the season – and what a season it has been.
Last two weekends were Rockingham and Silverstone, both had their challenges. Rockingham National is a great circuit – but we were on the International which I don’t like because it takes in the banked circuit and feels very artifical. As well as that, the track was very, very slippery – however it was eating tyres. This wasn’t just me, everyone found it. But it was another dry weekend and we all had a lot of fun.
Silverstone would have been great apart from me feeling like crap with the cold. I struggled through like the hero I am, skipping the third race because I really wasn’t fit. That left me starting from 27th on the grid in race 4 which I really, really enjoyed as a test of how far I have come. I finished 14th which I found very reassuring!
We also took part in the Endurance for the first time this year, Danny Shaw, Jason Hill and myself. We managed to come third after losing second in the last couple of minutes due to a Honda gearbox problem. My fears that I would be the under-performer in the team turned out to be fairly unfounded as I think I did my bit. Anyhows, I picked up my one and only trophy of the year so we don’t leave the season empty handed!
It has been a hell of a ride. Definitely the best thing I have undertaken from a sporting point of view, extremely rewarding. I have discovered that racing for 22nd can be every bit as much fun as racing for 10th (I can’t comment on racing for first!!).
If I wanted to chase success, I reckon a two man endurance team would be the way to go. My fitness is now miles ahead of where it has ever been before, my weight has dropped to a sliver over 11 stone from what was approaching 13 – I’d hate to pay to save that amount of weight from the bike. At Silverstone, I did 37 laps (basically a full tank) and when I came in I felt as if I could go straight back out again. Compare that to the start of the year when I was praying for the last lap flag for 4 laps in a sprint race!!
By next season I’ll be even fitter again. We are working on everything we feel is relevant to racing – core (which was very weak) and upper body (again, very weak). My legs were not terrible, but they have vastly improved as well. I’m hoping to feel much more agile on the bike next year and have much better endurance. As well as my training I am doing the odd 5km run – I hate running, but I think it is important. No alcohol 6 days a week, strict eating plan 6 days too – one night off on a Sat when I get to eat/drink what I like. Training 3 times a week.
So, roll on next season! Bike is already in for an engine refresh and suspension freshen up, plastics are being painted as we speak. I need to find a new van – as much as I love the Transporter it isn’t big or powerful enough for this – so will be picking up a MWB Sprinter in the New Year.
Sorry this blog has not been more regular – I will be better next year! A good friend is going to build me a bespoke website and there will be more and better updates. I have had a couple of people tell me they enjoy reading these blogs, which I will admit was surprising but gave me the boost to want to stick with it.
Thanks to all who supported me in any way this season, it has been a fantastic journey of discovery and I can’t wait for next season!