Morgan Goes HARD At BrandsI arrived in Spa with major excitement at having the chance to race on the most famous circuit in the world, Spa Franchorchamps! Ok, so maybe The NÃ¼rburgring is also well know as are Silverstone and Brands Hatch, but this is deemed a real drivers circuit and I was well up for it. I had spent 3 days with the team, learning about the cars and helping out with their Dunlop BTCC test days at Snetterton before an overnight hop to Spa. It had been a long few days, but I felt I was in the zone. Using my â€˜self motivationâ€™ techniques, that had been given to me by Susan, my sports psychologist. I had also been keeping fit as the races at Spa were slightly longer and temperatures were forecast to be high.
The car was ready for free practice and I joined the circuit at the back of the snake of cars to do my first lap of the circuit. Remembering each corner from the tv, simulator and, of course, my xbox!
At first I couldnâ€™t believe how long the track was, great run off areas for difficult moments if my ambition outweighed my talent, and amazing scenery with huge undulations of the track. Loved the circuit, but the session was over far too early, I was still getting used to the new car, right hand drive, BTCC style pedal box, longer wheel base and, of course, the track.
The highlight of the day was the â€˜festivalâ€™ in Stavelot Market Square. Driving my race car into the local town in a massive convoy, probably with about 1 million HP given how many cars were there, being encouraged by the police to light up the tyres and fans lining the road, an amazing experience. 200 plus cars, all parked up in the market square, party atmosphere and it was great to show the cars off to competitors from other formula and the fans who wanted pictures and info about the cars. Canâ€™t imagine that happening at Silverstone or Donington.
Qualifying day started a bit dull, but you could tell the sun was on its way. Car was prepped for qualifying and I set off for some hot laps. Car felt good through the corners and was pulling like a train, but every now and then a drop in power meant I couldnâ€™t push quite as HARD. as I had hoped. I qualified 13th, but probably should have been in the top ten. Dad was happy, but I knew I could have done more. Phil checked the car over tirelessly, but couldnâ€™t find anything. So the car it was readied for race one.
Race day, sun is beaming over the mountains and it was time for racing. The car in front of me stalled or bogged on the start so my start was hampered. I tried to go round, but the quick starting DSG Golf which was a police car lookalike was there to my left. Entering the first corner there were cars everywhere, but I managed to exit well and more or less maintained position. Unfortunately the car developed the fault again I dropped several places, finishing 21st, not where I had hoped to be at all as I was determined for a top 10 finish. Race two was a disaster. Starting from the back was not the best place to start and as I exited the first corner the car went into limp mode. I dropped to last place. As I went into the famous â€˜Eau Rougeâ€™, I could see the train of VW Cup cars snaking their way up the hill, the car cleared and I was off. The car felt great. I managed to make 8 places within just a few corners, I took 3 into â€˜Fagnesâ€™ alone. The â€˜go-kartâ€™ like pedal box suited my driving. I followed Didge through on the inside atStavelot and made another place, but unfortunately there was the slightest of contact with another car on the exit and I was speared off into the gravel, I went in HARD......Spa....DONE. Memories of spa are mixed, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Back to the UK, Gaffers wedding first to wish them all the best and then onto Brands Hatch, I love that circuit.
Iâ€™m looking forward to my race weekend atBrands Hatch. Itâ€™s a great circuit with plenty of overtaking opportunities. Hopefully I can qualify well and have a couple of good races. The car has been checked over and tested and is fixed and ready to race, so looks promising for the weekend. Iâ€™m hoping for a couple of top 10 finishes, but would love to make the podium, as Henry did in Spa! Itâ€™s Dadâ€™s birthday and it would be a great way to repay his faith and passion for my racing. Of course, that could make me the youngest podium visitor in the series history and I believe dreams can come true, but I will have to be going HARD. for that to happen. Good luck to all of the team HARD. drivers at Brands Hatch. It would be massive to see all of the cars in the top ten.