Dan Rogers Silverstone Ma5da Autumn Chmpionship Mazda MX5

Autumn Championship – Silverstone

The Autumn Championship is a one-off championship consisting of three individual races. The large grid capacity meant that there were 54 cars on track at the same time, making this a very challenging meeting.

We arrived on Thursday night with the car unchanged since the last meeting at Croft, besides straightening some panels and replacing the faulty fuel pump. Qualifying was a case of learning the track again as it was six months since I was last at Silverstone and back then the car was very different! The car still felt very balanced and I qualified 19th, which I was happy with given the grid size.

Race 1, like all the races felt more like karting as it was all about pushing people down the straight to gain places using the slipstream. Whilst driving it was hard to work out exactly how things had panned out because the positions were changing lap by lap. I ended the race in 17th.

The Autumn Championship has a reverse grid for Race 2 and 18th place was drawn to start on pole, which meant I would start 2nd. A great launch off the line put me into the lead for the first corner, and I managed to hold on until half way round the lap until the backward descent begun. This was not a Disney film where I suddenly could go ten times quicker than ever before and I simply didn’t have the pace to maintain my position at the front so I knew it was just a matter of time before I was passed. The race was very close and as enjoyable as the battles were, it meant that the lap times were slow and cars were able to catch our group of cars easily as we continued to swap places. As a consequence, losing 13th place to Rhys by 0.021 seconds on the line was difficult to accept when he started from the back.

It was business as usual in Race 3 with no reverse grids. Looking at the timing sheets you’d see I started 14th and finished 14th, however the racing in between was some of the best I’ve experienced all year. The battles continued right up until the last corner and I’ve never worked so hard for a top 15 finish.

My consistancy throughout the meeting meant that overall we finished quite high up in the points in 12th. I’ve got a lot of things I want to develop over the winter which i’ll document on the website as we progress. It was nice to end the season on a positive note with plenty of ideas that will see us come back with a much stronger car next year. Sadly, despite being scheduled, the TV coverage fell through at the last minute and so the event won’t be televised which is a huge shame as the racing was brilliant.

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