Firstly may I say how good it is to be writing a blog for Motors TV and being given the great opportunity to keep you all updated with my exploits. If the first two seasons of my car racing career are anything to go by then it’s going to be another great adventure!
For those of you who don’t know me a very quick rewind as to the story so far. I began racing aged 8 back in 1998, initially as a member of the cadet club at the Brentwood Park circuit in Essex and then into the world of 60cc Comer Cadet racing. I had a great karting career winning several local circuit championships at Buckmore Park, Bayford Meadow and Lydd, the pinnacle of which was 2005 where I came very close to winning the Super One National title in the TKM Extreme class and made by debut as a wild card in Formula A and surprised everyone by winning the Renault Champion of Champion’s title against some of the best drivers in the UK.
The next logical step would have been to compete on the International stage in some of the top European events but the budget for this was far too prohibitive. Budget or rather lack of it has been a common recurring theme throughout my entire career! So that looked as though that was that. But I stayed involved in motorsport by beginning a course in motorsport engineering and going to work for multiple British Formula Ford Champions Jamun Racing in 2008. I’d known the guys at Jamun for a few years as the two kart teams that I drove for Scholartech & Project One had strong links to the team through drivers such as Mark Marchant, Ben Clucas and Duncan Tappy.
In 2009 I was lucky enough to begin my own single seater car racing career in Formula Ford 1600 with a lot of help from Cliff Dempsey Racing and some great sponsors who all rallied round. It was pretty much hand to mouth finding the money to go racing but I had a great debut year winning the National FF1600 championship, the Midlands & South FF1600 championship and the Jackie Stewart Trophy.
So for 2010 we decided to step up to the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. Again it was hand to mouth with the finance and we were always scratching around for more sponsors. It became a standing joke in the paddock that I had the most stickered car on the grid as at every meeting there would be at least one new sticker on the bodywork.
We were real underdogs too as the team Cliff Dempsey Racing hadn’t competed at this level since 2006 so our data was a little dated! We were also using a British built Ray is chassis against the might of the all conquering Mygale but manufacturer Raysport did a fantastic job in helping us and together with the hard work of the Cliff Dempsey Race Team we had an amazing season. We only just missed out on the championship even though we outscored everyone else by collecting points in all 25 championship rounds. But I was made a BRDC Rising Star and best of all nominated as one the six drivers for the highly prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award which was a wonderful experience.
So onto 2011; many people expected me to be signing a deal to do F3, GP3, F2 or Formula Renault UK or Euroseries. But that age old issue of budget in the end became the deciding factor and the current economic climate making it extremely difficult to raise money for motor racing. Not that there is anything wrong with returning to Formula Ford. It is highly competitive class and spectacular racing and we have a great series this year including visits to Spa, Zolder and Zandvoort as well as racing at all the top UK circuits.
I know that the pressure will be on me to get great results again this year, especially after what we achieved last year, and having made the move to Jamun Racing I am still learning how to get the best out of the Mygale which requires a different driving style to the Ray I drove last year. Both are great cars though and I know Gavin Ray has put together an all new car this year ironically incorporating many of the improvements that I suggested last year and now I have to beat it! But that is the great thing about Formula Ford that it is a multi manufacturer class and once again we will have four maybe even five makes of car on the grid and they will all have their strengths.
Pre-season testing has gone extremely well so far including being fastest in the official championship launch day at Silverstone last week. But while encouraging I will be keeping my feet firmly on the ground and not taking anything or anyone for granted. Once again there will be some very good drivers to compete against and it was great to see two of my rivals from last year, Scott Pye and Josh Hill topping the pre-season test times in F3 and Formula Renault this week. That gives you an idea of the current standard in Formula Ford. But that said I can’t for the opening rounds at Silverstone in just a couple of week’s time and look forward to blogging about it soon afterwards.
All the best Scott