Steve Riley - Silverstone 5/5/19


5th of May was my first race of the Season and I was somewhat rusty due to having 8 months without being in the hot seat at full pace. And the nerves where stretched even thinner as half my family was on the observation stand watching, including that of my Mum. Having never seen me race before my Dad had a word with me prior to the race and said to take it easy when coming onto the straight as she would be a nervous wreck. True to racing form I came onto the straight fully crossed over stuck up the rear end of a big green caterham on the second lap. You cannot tell racers to take it easy!

Qualifying was no fun, the track at Silverstone is unduly hard on the tyres which sore me polish off a set of front soft kuhmo’s in no less than 30 mins. So I decided for the race id go on a set of mediums, as I knew I couldn’t do 40 mins at race pace and make the softs last. Due to our 33 car grid size I was hampered by traffic but eventually qualified P8.

Race seen me quickly jump up to P5 within the first lap behind the car of Richard Carter, I was pleasantly surprised that the medium tyre worked well on the front axle when up to temperature to the point that for a few laps I was managing to hang on to the tails of our class H big bangers, that was until I made a mistake on lap 6 and they was gone. ( they just don’t let you make mistakes like that and get away with it) 7 laps from the end my engine mounting bolt snapped causing me to loose 5th and 6th gear which Ben Simmons took full advantage of dropping me back to 6th which was my overall finishing position.

I then had a 15 minute sprint race for the last event of the day. Starting well from 6th I got into 3rd by turn 3 and tried to keep the class H car of Richard Carter behind me. This proved futile due to there straight line speed difference to mine on the hanger straight 138MPH VS 155MPH. Fortunately for me he suffered a puncture on lap 6 giving me back the 3rd position. Those pesky spun alloy wheels I could hear him saying as I went past! Unfortunately I don’t have a rear facing camera so the race from there looks relatively un-eventful but I had a rear view mirror full of the 14 car of Ben Simmons keeping me honest throughout the 15 mins session, constantly showing me he was there waiting for the lapse of concentration. Overall a good result finishing P3 but most importantly I learnt a lot trying to match the pace of the class H cars and got some seat time back in at good pace.

It was also nice to see the MK of David Whitte out in our series he was more than helpful in loaning me tools throughout the day and seemed a genuine guy. I hope to see more of him and his car out this year.

Next race is Oulton Park which is my favourite circuit in the UK, and then onto SPA for the summer Classic which is my favourite circuit of all. . I think we are in for a good years racing in the RLM powered 86 car.  

See Video here of the later sprint race.  

Steve Riley

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