Scorpio Motorsport and I were unquestionably the most complete team-driver combination, as we were unbeatable at the start of the season and won more races than anybody.
We deserved to be champions and it really felt like our year, but my sparring partner James Lay was a great opponent and took full advantage of my retirement at Silverstone, improving each time we hit the track and getting the job done in style at the ‘Donington decider’.
A full reset was required, so my family and I flew off to sunnier climes for some R&R. We decided on a fortnight in Portugal, and the SandyBlue Algarve resort hooked us up with a luxury villa with private pool and gardens in the tranquil surrounds of Vale do Lobo, a short stroll from the beach.
The peace and serenity were very welcome, and left me feeling completely recharged, ready to start work on 2022 upon my return to UK shores.
In fact, I went straight back to the grindstone. Happily, the Motorsport UK Team UK Futures programme has escalated since the end of the season, resuming face-to-face workshops at MSUK headquarters and training sessions led by Porsche Human Performance at Bicester Hotel and Spa.
My schedule began with an insightful sponsorship and social media talk with former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok.
Fresh from his Sky F1 punditry duties at the Russian Grand Prix, Karun confirmed I’m doing all the right things to market myself as a value proposition, but also opened my eyes to new and creative ways of ensuring my partners and sponsors all achieve a strong return on their investment.
It was incredibly useful and timely, as most of my energy since returning to the UK has been spent connecting with business leaders and demonstrating all the ways in which they could benefit from the wide-ranging activation opportunities my planned 2022 programme affords.
In October, I travelled back up to Donington Park for a weekend of networking with teams and automotive manufacturers within the British GT Championship and Porsche Sprint Challenge GB paddocks.
My promoter and I worked our way up and down the pit lane for back-to-back meetings, stopping by Speedworks Motorsport - the team responsible for the Toyota GAZOO Racing effort in British GT and the British Touring Car Championship – the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang crew and Century Motorsport BMW outfit, to name but a few.
It was all about placing myself in the shop window, forming new connections and registering my interest in 2022 race seats, while collecting all the information prospective sponsors will need.
It was a productive weekend that unexpectedly yielded a coveted invitation to Porsche Motorsport GB’s annual ‘Taster Day’ at Silverstone, where I once again tested a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Right now, it’s essential to get as much as mileage as possible in GT4-specification machinery, to prepare for the 2022 season, and it was great to get a feel for the Cayman on Silverstone’s South Circuit and build on my previous outing in the car at Donington Park.
I was satisfied with my lap times and the experience certainly whet the appetite and increased the excitement for what’s to come in 2022, giving me even more impetus to expose Sussex businesses to my sponsorship opportunities, in a concerted effort to take the next step in my motorsport career.