For the final time this season, we catch up with guest blogger Max Bladon to tell us how he got on in the BIZ Karts race car at Donnington.
The last round of the Championship was hosted at the great Donnington Park GP, where greats such as Aryton Senna have raced. After a round of being right back at the sharp end of the grid at Oulton Park, I was confident of moving this pace onto Donnington Park.
The weekend started out strong with me leading most of the Qualifying session, but then disaster struck as the suspension snapped at high speed, forcing me to retire early. This was really unfortunately timed too, as it happened on my fastest rolling lap and looking at the data afterwards, the lap would have been good enough for second on the grid. Due to my early retirement, my time was only good enough for 9th on the grid. Another example of our bad luck this season, but it is one of those things and you have to move on.
For race 1, I got a great initial launch and three places on the first lap. As I tried to break away with the lead pack, I quickly realised the car didn't actually have the outright pace of the leaders and in fact, the damage sustained in qualifying was much more than just a snapped damper. The handling of the car felt way off and it was pulling to the left on the straights. I had to drive with this issue throughout the race and my goal was just to bring the car home in a decent position. Fortunately, I still had enough pace to stay in 6th position and gather some decent points for the championship.
Going into race 2, I was confident we had sorted the issues which previously hampered our pace in race one. At the start, I got away well and was involved in a tight battle for 5th and 4th place. I was shoved wide at the Montreal hairpin causing me to lose places and put me back in 12th position. Slowly through the race, I bought the car back to 8th position but the car never felt truly comfortable at high speeds.
I ended the year being 6th in the Championship and 2nd in the Rookie's Championship. It's a shame we had so many mechanical issues across the season, but that's how it goes in motor sport sometimes. I'd like to give a big thanks to BIZ Karts for the amazing support and opportunity they have given me this year, and I really hope the relationship can continue!
BIZ Karts would like to take this opportunity to thank Max for all his commitment and hard work this season. The BIZ Karts car had a terrific driver at the helm and we're really glad to have been able to give Max this opportunity in his racing career. We hope you've enjoyed reading our blog posts throughout the season and we'll keep you posted with any plans for the upcoming MINI Challenge season!