Scotcars to race at Silverstone 29 | 09 | 2010

    OK, SO YOU know those moments when the word 'yes' comes out of your mouth and you're brain is immediately screaming "HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE"; well I experienced one of those moments recently over a quiet lunch.

    "Have you got a race licence?" my host, Mazda PR boss Graeme Fudge casually mentioned as he speared another forkful of burger and chips towards his mouth.

    "Nah, I've always fancied getting one but never really had the need," I explained.

    "Fancy racing in the Britcar 24-Hours?" was the riposte.

    "Yeh, I'd love it," .... and that was the split second my brain and mouth disengaged from each other.

    Before I knew it, three days later I was at Croft Circuit just south of Darlington with TeamJota boss Sam Hignett and his crew for a day's testing.

    After a number of sighting laps in a road-going Mazda MX-5, I was suited, booted and squeezed into the cockpit of the open-roofed fully race-prepared two-litre MX-5 we'll use in this weekend's race.

    Yes, of course, I took to it like a duck to water; that was until I looked at the times and saw I was two seconds off my amateur rival. Ok, gloves off, time to focus and fly the flag for Scotcars.

    It's actually amazing how quickly you do — and I know this sounds like something from a movie — find yourself in tune with the car .... there; I've said it.

    Every corner at every new lap you find yourself making slight adjustments in an effort to shave some time off the stopwatch. Of course, sometimes you go just that little bit too far, as was witnessed by everyone on the pitwall when I came round the left-hand hairpin into the start-finish straight, hit the accelerator too hard and duly performed a perfect 360-degree spin. No ... I had it under control all the time; honest.

    A few laps later, my times started tumbling and, just as the rain started falling to bring the day's test to a halt, I set my fastest time .... 0.4s faster than my rival.

    But that was then. Now it's the real thing, and I haven't been in the car since. Tomorrow I head to Silverstone for a seat fitting and a test session on Thursday afternoon on the full 3.195-mile Silverstone circuit.

    Suddenly it's all very, very real. Nervous? Of course I am; why wouldn't you be. Excited? You bet.

    When I'm not in the car I'll keep you posted on Scotcars with daily reports, but you can also follow all the news on

    Jim McGill

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