The final round of the year was as good as I could have hoped for. A semi wet qualifying ended with me on pole for both races. The first race was wet in which I had a lights to flag win. The second race started well with me taking the lead but lost it due to oil temperature and pressure issues so finished 2nd. In the end I came 2nd in the class championship only 4 points behind the winner, a good result after missing a round due to illness. To achieve 5 wins and 3 second places I am very happy with my performance this year but know development will be needed for next year.


After a messy qualifying which had a red flag then not a single clean lap due to slower cars I had 6th place starts for both races. The first race got off to a good start and I went on to make my way through the field. Some brave overtaking was done with a move round the outside going down the craner curves to take 2nd place and that’s where I finished the race.

The second race got off to a similarly good start and I started to make my way forward. A pass for 2nd place into the last chicane I unintentionally slid the rear into the large curb of the left going onto the straight which after investigation I found caused the front face of the left rear upright to start to break away from the side plate at the weld. This caused large toe in on the left rear upsetting the handling. I managed to keep going with the intension of getting the most points I could and ended the race in 5th. A good result from the weekend means I’m still 2nd in the class championship.


A new track for me but very enjoyable. Starting P2 in both races it was a close battle resulting in 2nd place in the first race then triumph in the second race as I lead throughout to get the win.


One week later and I was back at Rockingham. 3rd place overall was all I could achieve in the first race as the mighty Subaru and Escort cosworth pulled away in the dry conditions. Slight rainfall in the second race gave me a fighting chance alowing me to grasp the lead but the track dried and the escort passed and pulled away resulting in a 2nd place. I was awarded driver of the day in the thundersaloons for my performance.


The perfect weekend at rockingham with 2 wins and 2 fastest laps. A successful return after missing the mallory park round due to illness I managed to fight off the fast V8 westfield to make it my first double win.

Brands Hatch

Great start to the season with a win in the second race at Brands Hatch. A slight issue in the first race resulted in a recovery drive to 8th but was forgoten after the result in the second race.

Silverstone - Thunder Saloons

After a long wait I finally managed to get back into the Astra for my first race in the car and the first race of the season at Silverstone on the National circuit. The weather wasn't going to make it easy as persistent rain had soaked the track meaning the slicks looked like they were staying in the truck all weekend. Qualifying was just a test session for me to get to grips with the car in the wet and to see if the traction control was working, capable of taming the 500BHP on a wet track. After building the pace I had managed to place 4th overall and 2nd in class. This amazing result set me up well for the coming wet race. 

The first race got off to a poor start losing 2 places, but I managed to keep the pack within a reasonable distance whilst I was getting to grips with the car and generating heat in the rear end. once again, I built the pace till I was chasing down the pack in front. lap after lap the gap got smaller and smaller until on the last lap all the class B cars in the top 6 were within the same second. Coming around the last corner all four of us were sprinting to the line with a close finish but 6th was all I managed.

The second race was a little bit dryer with some brave racers opting for slicks. I decided to stick with the wets as I didn’t see a dry enough line. Once again i got off at a reasonable pace keeping the gap small whilst warming the car up. After a few laps I was happy and started to make my way forward. Passing for Third then making it into second I set out for the win. The gap was reducing to the point I was on the bumper of the first-place car when the brakes started to get spongey. I kept on pushing even though the brakes were getting worse then on the second to last lap the brake pedal went to the floor. Managing to gather the car up and just about stay on track I lost a place but carried knowing I had enough of a gap to take it easy to the end and secure the 3rd place.

Overall it was a great weekend, I was happy with my progress in the car and the performance in the race. slight mechanical problems stopped me from getting a better result, but improvements can be made.

Dyno Day - MK

After the excellent learning experience of building my first engine with the help of Tony Tait we took a trip down to EFI parts in Runcorn to have the engine run in and fettled with. The end goal of the day was to see how good a job I had done with a few power runs. Once the engine was run in we changed the oil and were ready for the power runs. Tweeks were made to make the engine run a little cooler when idling. Seeing 230bhp was very pleasing as this is more than I was expecting to achieve but after the work I had put in a reasonable figure. Now with these numbers I will be closer to the power to weight limit of the sports specials class, so will not get passed so easily down the straights as I had before. 

Dyno Day - Astra

The long re-build of the Astras engine was finally complete so we took it at the same time as the MK to the rolling road to be run in. The goal for this engine was to run it in and get a power run to check that it was producing the same power as before. A slight issue with the fuel pressure was quickly fixed and 500bhp was easily produced once again.

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© Matthew Booth