In 4 weeks’ time, I will be back on track in anger, following a memorable but troubled debut at Brands Hatch. The BRSCC MX-5 Championship rolls into Pembrey next week, but I’ll be sitting that one out whilst my car is repaired. Besides, as this is my first year I don’t have enough of a budget to do them all, and South Wales at the tail end of winter is one I’d happily miss!
I’ve never driven Cadwell Park in real life before, although I’ve done many hours on the simulator. It strikes me as a track that is panoramic, full of character – and utterly terrifying! The first impression I get when sim racing or watching YouTube videos of Cadwell Park is that I can’t believe it’s actually a race track. Surely it’s too narrow, surely it’s too undulating, surely “The Mountain” isn’t as steep in real life as it is in the photos… and yet every year, dozens of hedonistic lunatics put their cars and their paintwork on the line by duelling it out around one of Britain’s twistiest circuits.
Having never driven it before, testing will be essential. Turning up to take part in Qualifying having not driven the track before was risky enough at Brands Hatch (although not by choice), but at a track like Cadwell it is unthinkable. So my next port of call will be a track day there in April with some of the other drivers at Go4itMX5 Racing, where I hope to finally get some quality track time in a fully-functioning race car.
Doing the MX-5 Championship at Cadwell Park, with a packed grid of cars, will be an incredible experience. Look out for my race report next month! In the mean time, I plan to learn everything I can about the circuit and how to drive it quickly. It’s sometimes referred to as the British Nurburgring. Only a fraction of the length, but no less formidable. With such a narrow track, overtaking is at a premium so Qualifying will be key. Time to study that onboard footage…