I’ve done a fair few miles in the JD Classics E-type but none in the wet, so that was an eye-opener. I was sideways on the straights even without full power during the really wet session on Saturday. You have to respect these old things; they’re quick, they don’t stop very well and there’s no grip. Keeps you busy, I can tell you. You’re braking hard at the 200-metre board and the thing’s still not slowing down enough.
My dice with Giedo [van der Garde] in the Cobra was incredible. He would pull out 100 metres on me thanks to the sheer grunt of the Cobra’s V8, but I was all over him in the corners; the Jag’s a bit easier than the short-wheelbase Cobra. We had a small touch and Giedo went off briefly, but we talked about it afterwards. He was recovering from his own slight mistake and came across on me. I had nowhere to go and that slight ‘kiss’ made the difference.
It’s a real treat to be entrusted by the owners of these valuable historic machines to go out there and give them a good exercising. I can’t wait for my next go!
It’s back to the day job this weekend: the penultimate round of the BTCC with Honda at Silverstone, where I’m hoping my points catch-up in the championship over the past few weekends continues. Sam Tordoff, my team-mate Matt Neal and Mat Jackson are all fully in contention but it’s a tough series to crack, with success ballast and reversed grids – and plenty of ‘what if’ stories all in the mix. I’d love to win it a third time. I’ve had a bit of bad luck this year so have some work to do from third in the points, but with six races left there’s still a huge amount to do and lots of points on offer. No one will have two entirely clean weekends at Silverstone or Brands Hatch, that’s a certainty.
Whether it’s sliding round Goodwood with a smile on my face or nailing inch-perfect laps for Honda in the BTCC, I’ll be giving it my all and am very fortunate to have the opportunity to do both.
Photography by Drew Gibson