Silverstone GP, 10th March 2013

Silverstone on a snowy, icy morning. It’s not the most inviting of places! The trip up had felt like a Top Gear challenge, where I’d got the wrong brief, with a TVR Chimaera, Nissan 350Z and me in my Astra and trailer!

However, once unloaded, the Cheesemobile shouldn’t be underestimated! Especially when I leave the driving to Ben Clucas…

In the morning I took some time to get used to the track. It was wet, cold and very slippery. That doesn’t make for the most confidence inspiring start to the day but I started to get a feel for the grip and started pushing on a bit. Just before lunch, there was a period of dry running where I thought I started to find some limits.

As ever though, these limits were moved considerably more once Ben had corrected a few lines and then shown me how to really do it. Corners where I had a firm jab at the brakes were now flat out (or very nearly)…

For someone who’s only done 10 track days ever, it’s pretty intimidating at times and I did need to catch my breath. Having Ben constantly push me means I get FAR more out the day than I could ever do on my own. Sometimes I still don’t ‘see’ some of the opportunities to make time – but I’m getting there… bit by bit.

I was worried that the Caterham would feel swamped by Silverstone and be completely out powered by other track day machinery but in reality, the speed difference in the corners compared to most other cars is just amazing. In fact, it means it’s very hard to get a clear lap – something I didn’t manage all afternoon. It’s great fun though. I wish I had an infinite budget – but then again, I’m sure everyone does.

Next weekend we have the handling day, back at Silverstone and then the next track day outing is at Rockingham on Easter Monday. Already looking forward to it of course!

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