Jonathan Atkinson headed to Knockhill Race Circuit on the 12th of September ready for his weekend of competing in the Scottish BMW Compact Cup. On Saturday it was time for testing, both test sessions were wet. The main objective was to get him more seat time in the wet and see what he could learn as Jonathan hadn’t done much wet weather running in comparison to his fellow competitors. The best time he recorded was a 1:11.1 on a full wet circuit. The second session was more greasy than wet, he had a big moment going into Scotsman which sent him sideways going through the corner. He managed to control the car so he didn’t spin. Overall his testing was pretty successful and he learnt a fair bit.
(Photo Credit: Debz Photography.)
Sunday morning it was time to qualify, at this time the track was dry. The goal he set himself was to be close or within the top 20 of the 31 car line up. Jonathan got a gap on the track with no one in his way, the car felt good but he felt it seemed to be lacking some pace along the straights. His fastest lap was 1:05.2, for the last few sessions Jonathan was trying extremely hard to get a quicker lap time. Through focusing on trying to get a quicker lap in he caught up with traffic on track and this prevented him in getting faster laps in. He ended the qualifying session in 26th out of 31 cars.
Race one was delayed after a horrendous accident involving a classic Ferrari and a Datsun, both cars had extensive damage and both drivers were taken to the local hospital for full check overs. Luckily both drivers escaped without any serious injuries. When racing was resumed it was late into the afternoon. He started in 26th, got a pretty good start and was gaining on Graham Kelly going into Duffus to find that there was a huge train of cars so Jonathan took the outside line and managed to maintain the position. A few cars were spinning off track ahead of Jonathan, one of which was Carol Brown. This brought out the safety car and medical team so that they could attend to Carol, thankfully she had no serious injuries. When the race restart came around Jonathan made sure he kept on the tail of Graham, James Leslie and Robert Dryburgh. A lap later Donald MacColl had a huge moment at Butchers, which resulted in him facing the tyre wall. On the same lap Jonathan managed to pull a dummy late brake move on Graham and Robert into the hairpin. Then he Martin Buchan was getting punted by Robert. At this stage he was catching up to James, then the heavens opened, from then on Jonathan was struggling to keep the car on track. By the time the chequered flag came out Jonathan was 16th, which he was pretty pleased with.
Race two came around, by this time it was getting pretty late and light was beginning to fade away. Now the track was fully wet track, Jonathan started in 16th. He was confident he would make a quick good start. He succeeded and made a good start, got his nose in front of Zack Runcie but Jonathan went on to miss two gears going from first to fourth. He dropped right back behind Ashleigh Morris and James, both of them managed to get past and Graham was behind with a fast charging Neil MacInnes behind that. He then got passed by Martin going into Duffus. Unfortunately Martin then lost the rear of his car coming out of Scotsman, which gave Jonathan the place back. Then he had a big gap to close up to get behind Graham, he was catching him in the corners under braking but along the straights he had no luck in catching up. Eventually Jonathan managed to catch up, just managed to get past but missed a gear, this made his emotions start running and made him angry. Eventually got past Graham after a hairy moment coming out of Scotsman on opposite lock on the last lap. He started to feel a little bit of pressure building on him but managed to keep Graham behind him to get another 16th place.
After coming off a high after getting the best result he ever had last month, Jonathan felt that he was able to carry on the momentum from that. Qualifying knocked his confidence, he became very self-critical. This meant he kept telling everyone he spoke to that he couldn’t figure out why he was seven tenths off his best lap time and that he was better than what the qualifying time would suggest. Jonathan was determined to go forwards in the races which is what he managed to do. For the final round of the year he will be giving it everything, whatever is thrown at him he will give it his best shot to prove what he is capable of.
Jonathan would like to acknowledge and thank the following people;
ProRace Scotland for their hard work throughout the season, getting the car ready for him to race at every race weekend. He hopes to be knocking on the door of the top ten at the next race weekend.
Also to his main partner INDURC Ltd, for everything they have done for him so far, he with forever be grateful for all the help they give him.
Lastly, he would like to thank his girlfriend Suzi, his mother Susan, his father Paul, Sister Susanne, and brother in law Richard, Uncle Phillip and the young beastie boy nephews Oliver and Zachary.
Keep up with Jonathan’s racing career by liking his Facebook page ‘Jonathan Atkinson Racing’.
© Fay Tilley 22nd September 2015.