The 2018 Mini Challenge season – the best and worst season I’ve had! We bought the car in 2017 following the success of my 2016 season and spent the next 12 months running test days, trying various set ups and having coaching to get as quick as I can! The times looked good and I felt massively confident in the car.
This is the first season I had raced on slicks and raced single make and boy was it a steep learning curve. Every rule had to be scrutinised to see how much performance you can get out of the car whilst still being on the right side of the law. Despite me hoping I had got away from this, money was the critical factor and the front runners simply had a bigger budget than I did.
The first round was at Donington Park and I sat mid pack, finish in P10 (26 on the grid) in both races. Going into the MINI Festival at Snetterton I was full of excitement to continue progressing. I’d had some coaching with Ed Pead and felt the car was strong with some setup changes. I’d also decided to run with a team (Sussex Road and Race) for this round taking a lot of the stress out of racing and making the most of their expertise.
Sadly, the lack of racing experience of some of the other drivers meant this dream weekend came to a quick and abrupt end. Race one finished on lap 1, turn 3 following a side impact from another driver snapping the rear trailing arm. Race two didn’t see me get past lap 1, turn 1 when another driver tried to avoid a spinning vehicle and pushed me into it in the process.
Following a reshell of the car, I took the decision not to compete in the remainder of the season and to get everything ready for the next season.