Martin Byford’s Thruxton write-up

Thruxton 3rd Oct 2015 The life of a racing driver is rarely dull, we are always working on 'the next deal' to get in a car but when an unexpected call comes through at 7pm the day before a race it gets even more exciting! So, with a few hours notice we were on the foggy road to Thruxton at 4.30am for a run in one of the UKV8S Chevrolet's. Now these cars look the part and sound the part, 450Bhp of American muscle with big aero parts and flame spitting side exit exhausts. Needless to say I couldn't wait to get out on track. My car had been freshly rebuilt and fettled since its arrival in the UK, so qualifying was pretty much a shake down for both car and driver. A little 'new car' niggle risked overheating the engine but the rest of the car felt good and despite just 2 flying laps I qualified 3rd only six tenths of a second from pole. Good start. Race 1 was a blast, a little conservative at the start I dropped away from the leaders on lap 1. Then with that glorious V8 thundering down the straights and burbling on the overrun in the braking zones I got down to business. On lap 4 I had a great run through Church corner and made the move for P2 into the chicane. With the pitstop window open I took my mandatory stop and managed to jump into the lead. With the car sliding, drifting and snaking its way around the fastest track in the UK I enjoyed the rest of the race immensely. A race win in a car I didn't know I would be driving just 18 hours earlier!
Gary Simms and Martin Byford battling it out. Photo by Gary Harman
Gary Simms and Martin Byford battling it out. Photo by Gary Harman
Race 2 was even better. Battle Royale with Gary Simms in the number 66 sister car ensued for almost 30 minutes of the race. Side by side, out-braking each other sliding these big cars around searching for traction, grip anything to find an advantage over one another. I haven't grinned, smiled and laughed as much in a race for a very long time. Close, clean racing in evenly matched cars on my favourite circuit. What a way to spend a weekend. I can only imagine what a fleet of these cars will look like and sound like when the Championship starts in ernest next season. You never know I might just be there myself if 'that next deal' comes together! Martin Byford