‘To finish 1st, first you have to finish’
Silverstone was the first event for the Max Leaver Racing team and nerves were running high from the moment the team arrived on Friday morning.
Friday’s testing went well, but was heavily interrupted by regularly stoppages during the testing sessions due to some ‘rusty’ drivers crashing out. This didn’t detour Max as he ran well getting used to the new Pirelli tyres and working on his lines ready for Saturday. The new tyres gave the mechanics a few headaches though as Max complained of under-steer during the sessions, with limited adjustments available on the Club class Mini’s we tried many different tyre pressures until a conversation with one of the Pirelli Engineers solved our wows with quite a drastic change! Friday evening was spent preparing the car for Saturday with brand new tyres, brake pads, oil change and overall spanner check running late into the evening.
Saturday morning arrived and the car passed scrutineering as expected ready for qualifying. Qualifying took place over 20minutes with Max consistently getting quicker and quicker throughout the session to finally qualify 5th. Max still complaining of a little understeer and overheating brakes, so the tyre pressures where changed for race 1 and the brakes bleed to improve pedal feel.
Max lined up 5th on the grid for the standing start of race 1, with an excellent start at his first ever attempt Max held onto 5th place maintaining the gap to 4th. The Leading 3 drivers broke away and built up a comfortable lead. Max Maintained his gap to 4th for most of the race until 4th place driver Hillery had to pit, with a car problem which looked pretty terminal from the pitwall, Max was now in 4th position with a large gap to 3rd and a comfortable lead over 5th, this is the way it stayed until the chequered flag. A fantastic start to Max’s debut event and first ever race.
Race 2 involves a reverse grid and as there were only 6 finishers in the Club class Max lined up 3rd. The second race also includes a rolling start, Max made a slightly poor get away and selected sixth instead of forth gear off the line slowing dramatically and dropping to the back of the field. Now in 7th place Max made a fantastic recovery to quickly get back up to 5th position and hunted down the leading pack of 4. Max caught the back of the pack by lap 6 of the 8 lap race and kept a watching brief of the squabbling cars in front, making sure not to get involved in the Malay that was about to ensue. On the 8th lap the 2 leading cars collided both running wide and promoting Max to 4th position and as they cars came around to cross the chequered flag Max saw an opportunity to go around the outside of the 3rd position driver, Max took this opportunity and it looked like it was going to pay off but the finish line came a 100metres to early and Max had to settle for 4th 2 hundreds of a second off his first podium.
Overall all it was a fantastic first event for Max and the team. Max showed a cool and calm head under pressure and was rewarded with 2 excellent finishes which puts him 8th in the overall Championship and 4th in class. Max & the Max Leaver Racing team would like to thank all our sponsors for there support over the weekend, especially the ones that made the trip to Silverstone to cheer us on, your support is greatly appreciated.
The next round is in 3 weeks time at Castle Combe race circuit near Bath in Wiltshire. We look forward to seeing some of our sponsors there and hope that we can come away with another fantastic result. To keep up to date with Max & the team follow us on twitter and facebook as well as checking out the website for regular updates. We will keep you updated on when the races will be televised.