With over 400 road miles to cover during the weekend, we started with the 220 mile journey down from Northwich to Thruxton and arrived at the circuit around 6pm. Once at Thruxton we performed the normal activities such as scruitineering and setting the GPS startline position for our laptimer. After signing on, we bumped into a fellow competitor who had also entered his Supertwin into another class (Formula 600), so after heading back into the race office we managed to join that class too (albeit starting from the very back of the grid) for an extra £65 - not the cheapest of 'additional entry fees' but as we had not visited Thruxton since 1999 we thought it would help us get up to speed.
Sleeping in a caravan at this time of year has its own unique challenges. At Thruxton, this meant being woken at 3.30am by heavy rain pounding the caravan roof, which continued for many hours!
With the practice session being wet, we focused on learning our way around and set a fastest lap in the 1'49 bracket. Our first race was in the 'additional' Formula 600 Heat 2 race, which was damp. We got faster and lapped in the 1'39 second bracket.
By the time our 'Qualifying race' came around, the track was dry and the sky was clear. For this race meeting a few wildcards had arrived - including an ex 125cc British champion! After a good race, we reduced our laptimes down into the 1'32s and finished in 6th place.
A quick 'pack up' session followed the race, as we started the 170 mile journey to the "Stars at Darley" meeting at Darley Moor. Leaving Thruxton as the inaugural Champions of the NG Supertwin class, we felt proud as to what we had achieved in 2014.
The Formula Darley qualifying session was dry but cold. After only having the tyres on warmers for 20 minutes then watching a 125cc rider highside in front of me exiting the assembly area (he never even made it onto track!) and then seeing my fellow competitor Josh Dransfield on the floor at the first corner, I thought I would take three laps to ensure there was sufficient heat in the tyres before performing a "warm lap" before trying for a "hot lap". With our qualifying session sharing the track with the classic machines, I never managed to put in the hot lap, so had to settle with the warm lap that put me in 5th position on the Formula Darley grid.
The Mini Sound of Thunder qualifying went a lot better, with a series of laps in the 1'03 second barrier. We qualified 3rd in class (7th overall on the combined Sound of Thunder grid).
When the racing started, our two races were very similar. After the races started, we battled for the first few laps with Jonathon Trezins - who has made massive improvements throughout the year - before settling into 3rd place (in each race). These 3rd place finishes mean that we were elevated in the final championship position to finish 3rd in the Mini Sound of Thunder championship and 4th in the Formula Darley championship. Considering we missed a round of the 7-round championship due to a broken collarbone we think these are also good achievements for 2014.
So we headed home happy. And then saw that whilst we were away, someone had dinged Lorna's car and then disappeared without a trace :-(