Silverstone, July 21 and 22 – Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy

Treacherous conditions along with old and undersize wets put pay to any chance of a realistic qualifying time during Friday’s practice.

37th on the grid was amusing to say the least, but during the 20-minutes, I was soon into high speed opposite lock drifting, holding the tail out for 100-metres along the start finish straight, and lock to lock slides through the Maggots series of bends, out to the hanger straight.  For many of the viewing public and marshals this was, I am told, the sideways highlight of the meeting.

Bright sunshine and full dry conditions for Saturday’s race would however, allow the RS1800 to show its true colours against the classic modern touring and super touring cars.  Twelve minutes into the 20 minute race, I caught and passed 25 cars, finishing 11th by the chequered flag with a massive 30 seconds improvement in lap time.

For Sunday’s race I started 11th on the grid. However having already finished ahead of many RS500’s, DTM’s and super touring cars during Saturdays race, the 35-year old Escort was given a big ask to make a top 10 finish – the pressure was also on to beat the magical 2.20.00 lap time.

The fast starting M3 and Nissan Primera all shod with new slicks for the race stayed ahead for a lap or two, then it was time to push on for the Escort – a brave manoeuvre round the outside at Becketts then out-braking into Abbey saw the RS in 9th place with a clear track on lap 3, posting a time of 2.19.91 and a fastest lap of 2.19.60.  The next classic Group 2 car home was the V12 XJ Coupe driven by Simon Hadfield in 19th place ahead of the noisy but nice 635CSL of Jody Halse.