The seventh driver of the 2021 season is yours truly: Sam McKee.
You’ll always read my views on how my stint went in each race report, glean from the figures how I did and sense from my tone whether I’m pleased with it. I don’t publish self-evaluation very often, though; after five seasons of racing I don’t consider myself the star of the show. The focus of each meeting is “the driver”, even though I realise as I write that I should say the other driver! They’re the ones having the newest experiences, developing most rapidly, telling the most compelling stories.
But at every meeting this year, I have strapped myself into the car and fired it out of the pit lane to compete in my own right. So what kind of driver am I, and how have I delivered this past season?
14 races in five different series organised by three clubs. Eight podium finishes, one win, one pole, one lap record (the car got two). As bald statistics go, it’s impressive reading.
No crashes, zero spins, and actually not so much as an off-track excursion during a race. I barely made a mistake all year long.
Is that quite so impressive?
By and large I’m very happy with my performance. I can always get the car right on the pace immediately, and maintain it very consistently while taking almost no risks. If I’m just there to deliver a safe, fast drive and hand the car over, it’s perfect. But I’m racing, and not at the front every time. I’ve driven thousands of circuit miles this year alone, and only outbraked myself three times.
I realise that, actually, that pace I’m hitting so metronomically hasn’t got much quicker over the past couple of years. I’ve been fast enough to win when the cards are right, sound enough not to rob anyone of their shot.. but am I pushing myself to improve?
I can’t stand still. Nobody can, in this game! I need to make the most of every single lap this wonderful life gifts me, I need to be relentless in my pursuit of more performance, and I need to keep myself and my car right up on our toes with every decision I make behind the ‘wheel.
I’m getting faster in 2022.
All photos by SJN Photography and Thunderwood Racing – diamonds both. Thank you for capturing me so!