Jonathan Atkinson headed to Knockhill for the final race weekend of the Scottish BMW Compact Cup on the 3rd and 4th of October. On Saturday it was time to go for testing on the dry circuit. Jonathan felt that the testing was more straight forward and helpful to him because the circuit was dry and it was perfect conditions to be out in. He enjoyed both sessions although in the first session he had a few major brake lock ups, but it was down to him not warming the brakes up properly on the out-laps. He managed to do a lap time of 1:04.6, which he was pretty pleased about.
Sunday came round and it was race day! Jonathan headed out to qualify, he got to be first in the line to leave the holding area so he had clean air to attempt getting good lap times. At the end of the session he had qualified 22nd out of 30 cars. His lap time was 1:04.4, just four tenths behind 15th place, this proves just how competitive the Scottish BMW Compact Cup championship is.
Jonathan out during qualifying (Credit: Debz Photography)
Race one came around and Jonathan lined up 22nd on the grid, he got a pretty good start. He managed to get past Ashleigh Morris off the line and also managed to keep up with the group of faster cars ahead of him. Unfortunately it was put to a halt as the drivers were being confused by marshals waving different coloured flags, they saw a yellow, then a green, another yellow, a safety car board and then another green then a yellow. Then nothing, however he did manage to have a good battle with James Leslie. Donald MacColl managed to get past Jonathan but this meant he lost a few places to other cars. A few laps later Jonathan got turned around by Zack Runcie and ended up on the soft side of the track rather than the armco barriers. He pitted to make sure everything was straight on the car and went back out, one lap down. He ended the race in 28th place, not ideal but that’s part of racing. Jonathan knew that going in to the last race day of the season he had nothing to lose, his main focus was moving forwards and not looking back. At the end of the race Steven Dailly was crowned the 2015 Scottish BMW Compact Cup Champion as well as the SMRC Champion of Champions!
Race two, all drivers were called into the holding area five minutes before the race to hear a few words from the officials. The drivers were told they needed to behave themselves, respect track limits and each other. Jonathan lined up in 28th on the grid, got a brilliant start, jumping three cars off the line. All his work was already undone due to a massive accident off the line involving Ashleigh Morris getting turned around and shunted in the side. Jonathan was in the pile up, all he could see was double waved yellow flags, cars to his right and nowhere to go except into the back of Josh Orr. They had five laps behind the safety ca as medics attended to Ashleigh and marshals cleaning up the debris and glass off the track. Thankfully Ashleigh is fine and not injured. When they got back to racing Jonathan managed to pass Ivor Mairs and Phil Webster on the restart. Then he got past Robert Marshall, he had a huge gap to close down to get close to Colin Gillespe and Jamie Leslie, but he managed to close it down and get past them with one lap to spare. At this point Jonathan had no front grip at all and was defending as hard as he could. In the end he managed to hold P16, which was pretty amazing after the shunt and damage the car sustained as well as the left front tyre giving up grip.
Jonathan battling hard during the races. (Credit: Debz Photography.)
© Fay Tilley 26th October 2015.