Aaron Morgan, the young, paraplegic racing driver being sponsored by Adapted Vehicle Hire has had a mixed season but was hoping for a change in fortunes in Round 8 of the 2011 GAZ Shocks Production BMW Championship. However, Aaron’s date at the Circuit Park Zandvoort in Holland failed to be the turnaround in fortunes he had hoped for.
After a gruelling 12 hour journey to Holland via ferry and van, Aaron finally arrived at the Circuit Park Zandvoort to tackle the penultimate hurdle in the 2011 GAZ Shocks Production BMW Championship. An evening session on the circuit had Aaron focused and ready ahead of qualifying on the following morning but the weekend was again marred by a series of mechanical faults.
“After qualifying in 11th I was in a really positive mood, then they weighed my car and it was 3kg under the specified minimum weight required to compete. I wasn’t sure how this breach of regulations would affect me immediately, but was told, along with the three other competitors who also breached the regulations, that we would start at the back of the grid. Knowing how dependent my vehicle’s weight is on fuel, we filled it up and hoped this wouldn’t hamper my ability to compete effectively” commented Aaron.
Unfortunately car problems weren’t the only challenges facing Aaron. He began feeling ill before the start of the race and spent some time trackside in an ambulance. Once the race started the story of Aaron’s debut season continued. “Bad starts had come back to haunt me” he explained.
“The auto-clutch system I use had been adjusted, making it extremely slow to release the clutch. After filling the car with petrol, the car handled very differently compared to in qualifying and I was unable to get close enough to make a pass of the competitors further afield. All weekend I was hoping for a top 10 finish but ended the race in 15th place and my car 13kg overweight.
“Sunday morning once again I had a terrible start with my clutch system but was able to quickly make up ground on the competitors ahead. After catching up I was able to utilise the speed of my car to overtake one competitor and was confident I could carry on my progress up the field. However a lap later I went into a chicane and went to change gear but I had no drive. I was able to roll out of the track exit, retiring on lap 6.
“A quick look under the bonnet showed that the cable that pulls the clutch pedal on the car had exploded, on further inspection we realised the clutch plate in the car had exploded as well!
“My first international race was a bit of a weekend to forget, but is another lesson that we can use to improve the system and improve myself as a racing driver”
“Aaron had a great experience competing in Holland over the weekend” said Lorraine Farnon, Managing Director, AVH. “The championship has been unforgiving but Aaron maintains his positive outlook and improves as a driver with each race. We are proud to be supporting him during his rookie season and hope he continues to build upon his experience to go from strength to strength.
“We remain hugely impressed with his attitude and confidence. Everyone at AVH is rooting for him as he prepares himself for the final race of the season at the Snetterton circuit in October.”