It’s great to be back on The Checkered Flag after such a long time away.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first half of my season in the Ginetta Junior Championship, even though the results haven’t quite lived up to my own high expectations.
What I have to keep in mind is that this is very much a learning year for me. After all, it’s my maiden car racing season after winning the 2013 Ginetta Junior Scholarship and, taking everything into consideration, I feel I’ve moved on in leaps and bounds.
Like my brother Ollie, I went to Oulton Park in June confident I could get my season back on track after a character-building weekend on the dauntingly fast Thruxton circuit.
Oulton isn’t an easy track for newcomers but, while I felt pretty comfortable by the start of qualifying on the Saturday, I was surprised to discover that I was actually quite far off the pace.
We narrowed my relative lack of performance down to engine issues, although the problems continued for the duration of the weekend and I returned home with a best seventh place – quite a respectable result, considering.
I arrived at Croft with limited experience of the 2.1-mile North Yorkshire circuit, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly. I set my sights on mid-pack finishes and, although my times were close to my chief rivals, I qualified ninth for both races.
The pack bunched up dramatically on the initial run through Clervaux in Round 9. I stayed out of trouble as we scrambled for position and made up some ground, until Josh White swiped me going into the infamously quick Jim Clark Esses. This brought our race to an end.
The rain fell before the start of Round 10 and I relished the lottery of a wet race. I made steady progress while those around me floundered, ascending to sixth place before I too span in the closing stages, dropping me to ninth.
I was naturally disappointed. It was satisfying keeping the car on track for so long and I was within sight of fourth place, but conditions were unpredictable and I ran over a kerb going into the Jim Clark Esses.
We’re now well into the mid-season break. I’ve had to call upon my media training quite a lot recently. A couple of weeks ago, I visited Chiswick London for the Investec Hockey World League semi-finals match between England and Spain.
I have always been a massive hockey fan and played it at quite a high level for the Cheltenham College and West of England squads before concentrating on my motorsport career.
It was fantastic to witness some world-class hockey involving many of the ladies who famously won bronze medals in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
I was treated to VIP hospitality, where I had the privilege of meeting double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes, was interviewed for a feature in the UK’s leading hockey magazine, Push and continued filming for the CBBC documentary.
In addition, I’ll be featured in the August issue of top teenage magazine, Shout, after a recent interview. It has been a busy month!
However, I’ve already begun preparations for the next instalment in the 2013 Ginetta Junior saga at Snetterton (3-4 August), where I hope to transform my fortunes and start to mix it nearer the sharp end of the grid.