After a long winter it was great to be back behind the wheel racing again with MicksGarage.com Future Classics. My debut racing season was with these guys back in 2016 and I enjoyed it immensely. I managed to finish 2nd overall in the championship that year.
After that season, I decided to further develop my Saxo, which meant the next step for me was ITCC in 2017. In many ways 2017 was a kind of year out, learning more about myself as a driver and learning a bit more about what I could expect from a 1600cc Citroën Saxo.
I never fully walked away from the Future Classics and for the past couple of years I worked behind the scenes helping with PR work and have been doing so ever since.
With the decision made by the Future Classics Committee to introduce a new second faster barrier time for the class, I just couldn’t resist being tempted back for 2018. And I was not the only one, there was huge interest and within an few months it was looking like 20+ car grids were heading our way for the first race of the season.
Round 1 was Sunday the 15th of April and as always the car preparation got slightly overlooked during winter so the last few weeks were pretty hectic trying to get the car ready. A big thank you to all who helped me meet the deadline! Behind every driver are friends and family helping out to get the cars on track.
The buzz and nervous tension of race day is something I really enjoy. I’ll be the first to admit that until them lights go out I am literally bricking it! There is something about seeing that five second board, before the lights, where the adrenaline just hits me! It’s exhilarating, exciting and addictive!
I started P7 in this race, after poor qualifying on a wet track, the ring rust was well apparent. The race itself was dry (my silent prayers answered!) and I got a great launch off the line, but found myself boxed in quickly between Ken Byrne and MJ Farrell. I made it through Turn 1 cleanly and set out hunting down the lead pack. I quickly noticed the calibre of the guys ahead and knew I had a 15 minute fight to get near the front. Every few laps I started to pick off a few guys and got most of the work done in the early stages of the race. Midway through the race I began to struggle with a few incidents where my brake pedal was hitting the floor due to fluid starting to boil, and the tyres weren’t helping either. On a good note, the car felt stronger than ever so that gave me confidence to push on.
Eventually, I got past Tommy Byrne and into the lead pack with Brian Sexton and Timmy Duggan, and then the fun began. Myself and Brian must have swapped places nearly every lap for the last 5 minutes of the race, just epic close clean racing and it was extremely enjoyable!
On the last lap I got a great run out of Southside to get along Timmy and into the lead of the race. I got the door closed and the move was clean. Unfortunately Timmy missed his braking and contact was made, my car being so light just pitched sideways and I was back to P3 coming around turn 2…
Nevertheless I was determined to get back up so pushed hard. Again I got a good line out of Southside and was able to pull in Brian down the main straight. I had to settle with P2 for Round 1 but I was still delighted with the solid start to the season and thrilled to have been part of what I was told, by many spectators, was one of the best races all weekend. With Round 1 now behind us we look forward to Rounds 2&3 at Bishopscourt on the 12th & 13th of May. I have never raced this circuit and can’t wait for another new challenge.
My onboard footage is below- I hope you enjoy it and see for yourself just how close this race really was. For a mixed class with so many different cars involved this surely is a very unique experience.
Thanks for reading.
Regards Adrian Dunne #97 😉