Our Academy Sprint at Aintree was over three corners. The straight off the start line is very short and leads into a left. A longer straight leads into the right at Village. Following that the next corner is Beecher's. This is a fast right-hander which then leads you onto the Railway Straight and over the finish line.
The schedule was two practice runs and then three timed runs, fastest counts. I was really excited to start my first ever event. To think five months ago I was planning another year of karting and now I was sitting on the starting line at Aintree.
My first practice runs went well, and I was fourth fastest with a 54.39sec. The pressure was now on. I pushed hard on my first run and managed a 53.87. I was told a 54-second lap is considered really quick so to be in the 53s made me very happy and put me fourth fastest in my group. I made a slight mistake in my next run which cost me a couple tenths and my time was 54.29. I managed to almost match my fastest time in my third run with a lap time of 53.90. I finished my third timed run feeling like there was more time left in me but I wouldn't be able to find out because the days driving had come to an end.
The results were announced and I finished fifth overall. I was extremely happy with my performance as I had set myself a personal target to get in to the top 10 for my first ever event.
Round two of the Championship seemed to take ages to come round, maybe because I was so excited to get back out in the car again. I've always liked the look of Snetterton so was excited for the day. This was our second sprint out of three in the Caterham Academy.
Following scrutineering the first practice run went well but the track was extremely slippery in places. It was really good fun driving in these conditions and made it a challenge to produce a good lap. I did a 118.1sec which put me third fastest. I used the next practice run to learn the circuit more and prepare myself for my first timed run. I set a lap time of 110.89sec. The track was drying out and the lap times were getting quicker.
First timed run and it was time to try and get a banker time in. I was still learning the track at this point and made a couple of small mistakes but apart from that it was an OK lap. This meant I set a lap time of 107.77 which put me fourth. Next up was my second and final timed run of the day. I improved further and set a lap time of 106.83. I was reasonably happy with my lap but still didn't feel 100 per cent. I definitely needed more time to learn the circuit. I believe with a bit of previous track time round Snetterton I could of produced a better lap time.
I finished seventh. It was a good solid result seeing the circumstances and I can take positives from that. Good amount of points and am currently fifth in the Championship.
I really can't wait for the first race of the season which is at Donington Park in July. I can't begin to imagine what it will be like with 28 Academy racers on the grid waiting for the lights to go out. Exciting times ahead.
Round three is June 15 at Blyton Circuit.
And here's some onboard from Aintree.