In August came the brilliant outcome of a Tweet with tongue in cheek, a writer-cum-racer with a good sense of adventure, and a joint refusal to take no for an answer.
Dan Trent, whose motoring journalism back catalogue includes PistonHeads, Auto Trader, GRRC and Motorsport UK, posted a photo of his race licence with the plaintive hope that he’d get to use it that year. Well, I don’t just scroll past openings like that..
After a phone call and a flying visit to a track day at Donington, the date was set. We’d share a 750MC Roadsports race at Silverstone. Dan arrived clearly comfortable being in the paddock, but was just as keen to offer help in preparing the car as he was to understand how to get the best out of it. He acquitted himself admirably in qualifying, getting straight onto a pace barely slower than mine and holding it consistently amongst a capacity field. Most satisfying of all, he declared the car fantastic to drive!
The race turned out to be one of the most dramatic yet. There were with endless dices for position and cars sideways, locked up or just plain off the circuit the whole way through! I was most impressed watching the footage afterwards: Dan’s vast experience is plain and I’ve never seen anyone work the 36’s gearbox so quickly and slickly. Car control just didn’t require thought, which is a bloody good job considering how much hard racing was required! Despite the car being brand new to him, he put it wheel to wheel lap after lap without harming so much as a flake of paint. Superb.
Having his experiences racing with me published in Revolution, Motorsport UK’s national magazine, was a delightful cherry on top!