Now it would not be an exaggeration to say I’ll likely be one of the least decisive people you will meet so this process was never going to be easy.
I lost count of how many evenings, lunchtimes and weekend days disappeared whilst staring at racecar sales websites, various series pages/forums, various motor club websites and watching race footage on youtube to see if anything jumped out and grabbed me.
Countless spreadsheets were hashed out for approximate budgets over various series and trying to narrow it down. The only decision I had vaguely made was to mainly focus on series run by the 750 motorclub. Personally this felt like it seemed to offer the best combination of community feeling, grid sizes and budget that I was looking for.
The next stage of my narrowing down process ended with looking at either Formula Vee as a Single seater option with the BMW Compact Cup leading the way for the Touring Car route. I spent many many hours trawling for information on both and in the end decided that I would focus on the Compact Cup initially. The forum was buzzing with activity and a great hub of information that me and Alex looked over quite a bit.
I finally signed up to the forum and kept a watchful eye over the next few weeks, still mulling over my options. The final round of the season for the 750 club series was approaching at Donnington so I decided to organise a trip up with the girlfriend to go and see all of the series I was tempted by up close and hopefully get a better idea of what went down. Dropped a note for the first time on the forum and got the contact details for Paul and Dan (series organisers) who would try and catch up with me over the weekend to give me any information I wanted.
The journey up to Donnington was NOT OK. I think we arrived about 2.5 hours after the sat nav had predicted due to the motorways being more like parking lots. Oh well. Collapsing straight in to bed followed by a wonderful cooked Breakfast the next morning I was raring to go and headed off to the track. Got to see a great selection of racing on the Saturday with some very interesting cars and good battles. Really would recommend checking out the 750 events, fantastic value. Whenever there was a break in the racing I was wandering round the paddock looking at what people were using for transport/sleeping and nosing at various cars. I discovered the Compacts looked far more “racey” up close than pictures showed.
Dan got back to me just around the time my phone died and said aim for the huge red BMW truck! So I did. With my dead phone I then stood looking lost until someone made eye contact and I asked if Dan was around…obviously the person I asked was Dan himself because that’s how it works. Dan kindly gave me some of his time whilst they were setting up the Compact Cup base for the weekend, gave me some useful info and pointers and I came away feeling sold. Had I, Chris, made a decision?! It was a moment.
The following day and another awesome breakfast later I headed back to the track with the girlfriend in tow this time so she could get a preview for next year. This time the BMW Compact Cup guys were racing so that was really useful to see the track action up close. Had intentions to go and nab some of the Compact racers for chats between races but we settled for catching more racing action before heading back down South.
So there we go. I will be racing the BMW Compact Cup in 2015, exciting times!