Guest Blog: Aaron Morgan’s Race Report – Snetterton 2012
Guest blogger Aaron Morgan is a disabled racing driver from Basingstoke. He is sponsored by Adapted Vehicle Hire, for whom he also works part-time as a sales executive.
The Snetterton weekend arrived and I was excited for my first race in three months. I spent Friday afternoon testing on the track to re-familiarise myself and get used to driving the car again. However the test afternoon didn’t prove to be very useful for me, in the first session I had a problem with my steering and the second was interrupted with multiple red flags which meant that the session was very start and stop. However Robin Welsh of RAW motorsport showed me the lines around the track on Friday evening. After this I felt more confident for Sunday.
Our qualifying session and races were all on Sunday, so Saturday enabled me to watch the racing that was taking place and relax in the sun. On Saturday evening I pushed around the track again, this time with Ben Winrow. When finished I was left with two different lines into some of the corners on the track, so in qualifying my aim was to try each in the initial laps and then make a decision on which was best for me.
On Sunday morning the normal formalities of signing on and scrutineering my car took place. With these done there was only a short break before we were called to the assembly area for qualifying. When I was sitting in the car just before the session I visualized the lines that both Robin and Ben had told me on the track. During the session, I made a decision about which line was best for me. After the session, I was happy with the laps that I had done, but knew I could go faster as I had made a few small mistakes that cost me time. The time sheets released afterwards revealed I was in 25th place, just 0.006 seconds behind 24th place. This suggested that I could improve my position by setting clean laps during the race.
We were told in our drivers’ briefing to be careful of the narrow track on the start and as I pulled on to the grid for race one this became apparent to me. As the lights went out for the start of the race my initial pull away was good. As a result of this I moved right a bit to try and overtake the car in front but as I did this my wing mirror was hit as the car behind me came through after getting a great start. Immediately after this the car that had hit my wing mirror got squeezed between two cars causing another to spin on the narrow straight. I was left with no option but to brake until that car had moved out of the way, putting me back a number of places. Having managed to turn my wing mirror back around, I now concentrated on catching up to the car in front which I managed.
However, as I went into the tight turn two, my rear wheels locked up from shifting into second gear and I span, undoing the hard work I had done on lap one. I managed to quickly get the car back onto the track without losing too much time. Within a lap I had managed to catch up to where I was before my spin and made quick work of overtaking him. I continued my charge and quickly caught up to the next car and overtook him. There was now a big gap in front of me so I focused on my lines and securing good lap times. I could see in the next two laps that I was catching up with the drivers ahead of me very quickly but there weren’t enough remaining laps in which to catch them. I finished the race in 23rd position which I was pleased with, despite knowing that without the start and my spin I could have beaten that time.
In between races, Greg from Marangoni Tyres filmed me for a video featuring all the drivers each miming a single line of the Madness song ‘Driving in my Car’. Watch this on YouTube here:
Race two came and I was hoping for a clean start. Again I was able to get a good pull away and then moved across to the inside of turn one and overtook three drivers. I had a good battle with someone for the rest of lap one. I noticed him run wide around turn one and kept my car in tight to the inside and overtook. For the rest of lap two I pushed to close up the small gap to the next car, however in my eagerness I span again. After re-starting the car I got back on the track. Within half a lap I managed to catch and quickly pass a driver. I was again able to quickly catch the next group and quickly passed one of the cars. The next two were a little harder to overtake but I managed to get out of the last corner really well and overtake one. However on the way up the start straight some rain started to fall, requiring caution on the corner. After about half a doing this I was again left with a big gap to the next group of cars. I again tried to put in some fast laps and I was able to close the gap up a lot but again there wasn’t enough time to make the overtakes. I finished the race in 29th position, with just 0.250 of a second separating me and the two cars in front! I had again improved my fastest lap time by almost half a second which I was pleased with but I could not help but feel frustrated with myself that I had spun.
All in all, the weekend had been a very frustrating one for me. I felt that the speed was there, but due to being blocked on the start in race one and my spin in race two I finished in a lower position than I should have. However I will learn from my mistakes as this is just another part of the learning curve for me in racing!