Saxmax Championship Round 1 – 14th May 2006 – Donington Park
Constant drizzle and overhead clouds welcomed the first round of
the brand new Saxmax championship for 14 – 17 year olds to the damp
and treacherous Donington Park circuit. The day was going to be a
challenge for all drivers as it was not only the slippery conditions
we had to deal with, but it was also the first time we had all
driven together as a class.
Early morning free practice allowed all drivers to get to grips with
the circuit, but proved very eventful when two drivers rolled their
cars on separate occasions within the 15-minute test time.
Timed practice followed afterwards and driving standards had
improved dramatically with all drivers respecting each other and no
incidents or spins occurred. Unfortunately, I did not have a
successful Qualifying as my car provided me with a few
difficulties. The rear suspension was set slightly too high which
made handling more difficult and an unknown problem caused my car to
be a lot slower in a straight line than all the other competitors.
My qualifying position of 17th out of 21 meant I had a lot of work
The race came with a mixture of excitement and nerves, mainly due to
the manual stationary start all of us had to try and master. Off the
start line, I got a surprisingly excellent start and had nearly
passed the car in front when I shifted in to 2nd gear. Disaster
struck as the engine started to slow after shifting into 3rd gear
and I was left trailing behind the rest of the field at the end of
Starkey’s straight. To rub salt into the wound, the recovery van
that follows at the rear of the start overtook me when I struggled
to find a gear that worked.
For the rest of the race, I carried on without having access to 3rd
or 4th gears and I had to pull up twice onto the grass, as I did not
have 2nd gear at some points. I managed to carry on and take the
chequered flag 2 laps down from the winner Liam McMillan who
qualified pole and lead the race from start to finish comfortably.
However, I had not completed enough of the race to be classed as a
finisher. We suspected that the gear problems were down to a gear
linkage coming off, but we cannot be sure until the next round at
Overall the results and qualifying had been poor, but I had
learnt a lot from the first race of the season and really enjoyed
racing my car in damp conditions. We have quite a few alterations to
make to the car and I believe that the next race will be a better