At the age of 21
I decided it was time for me to get back into Motorsport and back into the driving seat. I went and watched the final round of the Fueltopia Barrel Sprint to see a upcoming championship series in the flesh. That night I went home and searched online for many different platforms of car to use. I saw that the MX5 was a competitive cheap car. After a few days of searching online, I stumbled across a semi rolling rust free shell. I immediately messaged the seller and arranged a visit. A few days later the shell was sat on my driveway at home and my build started. I built the car up over 3 months working on the car every day after work and on the weekend’s weather it was raining or not. I fully committed 3 months for this car to be perfect. The time came around where my mum wanted her driveway back and I had to move the car roadside. With insurance on the car and a fresh MOT and a set of number plates the car was now stored roadside for progressive maintenance and building.
The time came in 2017 for the first test day of the year
Fueltopia held an open test day and I trailered my car up there. I was awful to begin with, spinning the car and driving like I was karting, I was not used to having to pull a handbrake to help transition the car. As the day went on, other drivers suggested changing my driving style and offered other tips and other parts to change on the car.
With only one week between the test day and Round 1 of the Fueltopia Barrel Sprint Championship
Parts were ordered but did not arrive in time.
Was a success and I managed to qualify in the top 16. My first battle was againt a RWD converted Subaru Impreza which took the win knocking me out of the event that day. After this round I ordered more parts, a 6 speed gearbox, lightened flywheel, semi slick rear tyres and lighter and wider wheels.
Saw these changes on the car, during the morning practice I was sat in 1st place for RWD with a fast lap time.
Qualifying came soon and again I ended up in the top 16, my first battle was against a Nissan R33 Skyline, the race was level up to the entrance of the 3rd barrel. Managing to gain more traction than the Skyline I managed to pull away and win the battle. This meant I made it through to the top 8. Next battle put me up against a Turbo charged MX5, again this was a close battle but the faster car took the win.
Was a very similar story, quick against high powered heavy cars and similar to lighter lower powered cars. But was knocked out of the first battle by a similar car to mine.
For Round 4
I decided to up my game, new engine management and a Subaru Impreza turbo on the side of the head the car was faster than before. With only a short time on the dyno, the car was rather unreliable and got hot very quickly. With this we just managed to qualify in the top 16 and the car began to cough and splutter so I didn’t have the cars full potential.
Next came round 5
This was held at Ultimate Street Car. This event was spectated by 70,000 people. This event was a huge success but with a slight oil leak I had to be very careful. With watching oil temps and pressures, I lacked watching the rest of the car and failed to notice a cambelt tensioner had started to come loose. On a practice launch, the tensioner shot off and my car died. A few other drivers pushed me back to the paddock and helped me fix the car. Again the car didn’t want to run that great and with the timing of the engine only set by eye we wasn’t running 100%. I persevered and finished in the top 16.
The next day Fueltopia hosted the European Burnout Championship, with a poor performing engine and some spare tyres I thought “why not” 2 x 2 min runs of sitting close to the rev limiter, on the second run I popped a tyre which scored me an extra 10 points. This put me in 2nd place
and I became vice champion of Europe for EBC!!
Second to last round of the year
Saw the car with a fresh set of tyres, a new respray, the car worked perfectly in the wet. This was my first outing in the wet with the turbo and really had to make sure I didn’t lose any traction and lose any time. This time again I made top 8 and got knocked out by a faster turbo MX5.
Final round of the year
was just 2 weeks to go, zero changes to the car due to time constraints. The car hadn’t even been washed between rounds. The car was washed on the morning of the event. The cool weather and the turbo worked perfectly, I was running on full boost and setting some very quick times, everything worked perfectly so I didn’t do too many practices as the car was fully dialled in.
First battle was won and the second battle was up against a seasoned turbo MX5 driver and he just took the win, with a 1000th of a second between 3 drivers it was nail biting close for who battled who.
End of the season I finished 6th in the championship
with a home built car I was astounded. The friends I made, the partners I joined, and the car I built. 2017 was such a good season and I can't wait to get back into the seat for next year 2018.