After a very long and exhausting series of 13 rounds with over 100 drivers present at the majority of the rounds the 2003 TORC series came to its conclusion at the excellent Ashby circuit. The Ashby crew always run a tight ship and meetings go by very smoothly. The series is split up into 3 classes, 27 turn stock motors, 19 turn motors and the full blown 12 turn class. The series attracts some of the top UK drivers and occasionally drivers pop in for ‘guest appearances’.
This season saw a change in the points structure with points only being awarded for the results from the finals. No points were awarded for qualifying and in addition to all this 2 legged finals were introduced with both the finishes having to count for the overall points. This meant that there was a lot of pressure on drivers to drive very sensibly in order to complete the finals but also not taking too many risks. This was met with mixed opinions.
Going into this meeting the modified title was already decided in favour of myself along with Ian Whittingham in second, so the battle was a three way fight for third position overall between David Hall, Andrew Robson and Colin Jackson. The day started off dry with temperatures never exceeding 10 deg but being early Autumn there were quite a few leaves on the circuit which caused some minor dramas for some competitors.
Practice went well and my car was feeling very good so I was confident of being able to run some fast times. The target was Andy Moore’s lap record set at the national of 20 laps 307.9 with a fastest lap of 15.1. Round 1 went very well as I nearly lapped the entire field setting a time of 20 308.5 which was a personal best time. Ian Whittingham was in second place on a 19 304. I had a couple of minor errors which cost me about a second. The pits livened up with the possibility of track records being taken. Round two came along and with the same tyres and motor I drove a very consistent run and to my surprise I ended up taking 4 secs off the track record. The new time was 20 303.9 with a fastest lap of 14.9 and an average of 15.1. David Hall moved into second place a full 12 secs down on 20 315. A new set of tyres went on the car for the final round and I had a couple of laps that are best not spoken about resulting in me losing a lot of time. Fastest lap though was 14.7. Colin Jackson drove very well to take second overall on a 20 314 11 secs off the pole.
The first final was very embarrassing for me as I did not mesh my motor at all resulting in a first lap retirement, oops. Colin Jackson won the final chased hard by Andrew Robson with Ian Whittingham coming back from last to take third. The second final saw a change in the weather conditions so we were greeted with a colder/greasier dryish track at the start. I made a good start and pulled away from the chasing pack. At about 2 minutes the heavens opened up and the rain fell!! I immediately pulled off to protect the electrical equipment but most of the others continued. I believe that David Hall won the final from Colin.
The championship ended with Xray taking the title for the first time in this series. Out of 16 finals raced I won 11 and finished 2nd twice and 3rd three times. The amazing quality of the car has really shone with consistent and yet strong performances at every round. Colin Jackson ended up taking third in the series behind Ian Whittingham and myself. We had 5 Xrays in the top 20.
I would like to thank Xray and Hudy for their tremendous support and products, Oscar Jansen and Peak for supplying some breathtaking power all year, George Land and Helger racing for offering fantastic support when the opportunity arrived ;-) and all the drivers and families who choose Xray and Peak products which allows me to do my job.