JEC Racing season opener - Michael Holt

Snetterton in mid April saw the opening round of the JEC Racing Toyo Tires/Watchdogapp.com Jaguar Saloon & GT Championship. Michael Holt one of the racers shared his experience of the weekend.

Arrival at Snetterton

Before you read any further I will warn you this is written by a race driver so be warned!

So...1st weekends racing of this season out of the way..

Thursday before the race saw me heading over to Powerbell to collect the car complete with her new engine mods, all untried due to me missing testing. With the trailer attached, a cool box full of meaty goodness and the KampaKarzee duly bleached, we were Snetterton bound...

Arriving on circuit was more entertaining than it should’ve been due to some dead posh all singing all dancing Caterham team parking their HUGE trailer next to me...felt a bit intimidated so fired up the genny which kept them at bay!!!

Testing

Friday was testing day...waking early I bumped into the ever enthusiastic Colin Porter who like me was desperate for a brew...with the tea and brekky consumed, the track beckoned.

Hmmm....not entirely what I expected. The cars whole character has changed...no longer is she a lazy torquey Jag...she’s now a fire breathing ear drum splitting race car with sod all below 3500rpm...time to change my driving style! Oh, and did I mention that due to technical reasons I don’t fully understand .....NO BRAKES!!! Still, we persevere and remember how great the 300 circuit is.

With the arrival of Colin Philpott, he immediately resolves the lack of stoppage, but testing is finished so no time to trial...

Tyrell’s restaurant is the culinary venue for Friday with beer and Scampi...

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Saturday

Saturday...sun in the sky, -40 due to the windchill and my penis resembles a button mushroom...why is it always so fricking cold at Snetterton!

We venture out for qualififying not knowing if the brake bodge had worked...I shouldn’t have worried as belting round the warm up lap she felt great...time to press on!

6th overall (best ever) and 2nd in class...boded well!

Race 1...we’re not out while 5 so its good to see baby bro Alex Holt and papa Holt to while away the hours...by 4.30 the Holt clan have no penises (or is it penii) between us after watching some racing for about 10 mins!!!

The race...we got a great start tucking behind my arch nemesis that is Rodney Frost and three first 2-3 laps were nip and took with James Ramm, Colin, Tom Robinson and Sam Clarke jnr disappearing up road leaving me to fend off Coppock Snr’s V12...he did me on the pit straight leaving me to chase him down in the twisty bits...a mistake from him and this was my chance to regain my place....Ooops! Too much enthusiasm and not enough skill left me 2 inches from the Armco after the hairpin...”whoopsie daisy”’is a phrase never used by anyone in this situation. Gathering us up, we rejoined and managed to finish 9th overall and 3rd in class only after Gail Hill had to retire with a broken clutch...an ok result, but a missed opportunity.

As a special treat, we headed off circuit for our meal...well once the taxi turned up 45 mins late!!!

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Sunday - Race 2

Sunday...mist, drizzle, cold, wet and windy...and it wasn’t much better outside the van!!! Spraying liberal amount of rainex was my only hope of seeing out of the car in the race and a borrowed header tank cap (mine disappeared) and wiper blade (all mine did was make a lazy attempt at smearing water around in a random fashion) from Simon Lewis’s stricken motor, meant we were ready for race 2.

By now it was persisting it down, so like last year, once the safety car had pulled off, it was driving into a grey murk of unpleasantness, trusting that whoever’s in front hasn’t spun off. Again, it was tight for a couple of laps sat behind Guy Connew and his loose back end(!!!) but soon I couldn’t see out of the car and dropped back....and fell off...twice!!! No damage, other than pride and 20 mins later we finished 7th overall and 3rd in class...

Not a bad weekend and leading the cars new character was interesting...Gotta mention Tim Morrant who had a “biggy” and bent the best looking car on the grid...really hope to see it (and him of course) out again soon.

Silverstone next in 4 weeks...can’t wait!!!!

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