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565 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

As some of you will know i managed to qualify for the Final of this years Nissan Race Academy held at Silverstone.

Yesterday was the big day and i thought i would take the time to give you all a quick write up of how i got on.

Firstly there was a huge change in atmosphere since the last round, with this being the final everyone had game face on and the atmosphere was electric!

No pressure the prize was a full season of racing supported by Nissan and Dunlop in the 370z Dunlop Sport Maxx Cup they even had the car there just to get the butterflies going.

The previous winner of the GT Race Academy event Lucas Ordonez was also there to pile even more pressure on............

The day was a real contrast from the last one with every event scored or timed.

There was 4 events in the morning with the best 18 drivers going forward to the afternoon session.

My day started with the drifiting circuit in the 370z, a really complicated little layout which if i am being honest i really messed up, and there was me thinking all those years as a chav doing donuts and slides in my local tescos car park would pay off....;) The pressure got to me as a i struggled to be gentle and progressive on the Steering and throttle to hold a decent slide and progress into changes of direction.

I thought my day was finished there and then, feeling all sorry for myself i headed off to the Head to Head slalom course in the GTR's timed against the clock with 2 timed runs and an average of your 2 best being your overall score.

The surface still had really bad water lying and it was difficult to get a feel for the grip, despite this i managed the fastest time in my group of 26.07, not as good as my 24.7 in the previous round but i was happy with this especially taking into account the wet surface.

Next was the Stowe Circuit in the 370z Instructors marking your performance as a percentage, the marking was really tough, no quarter given it was really difficult to try and work out if you were still in the running as you had nothing to benchmark against.

Last of the 4 sessions in the morning was the GTR's round the Southern Circuit, 5 laps of instruction and then thrown in at the deep end with 5 laps assessed driving with the end result being your National B Competition License for those who met the grade. No cones no visible braking points it was all down to you building up to a nice steady rhythm and making sure you were Smooth, Accurate and Consistent. So much as a single wheel on the grass and it was an instant fail and you were automatically out of the competition!

Lunch arrived in a blur, this was crunch time, was i going to make the cut?

Like something out of Ex Factor they pulled half of the group into a side room and the other half outside.

At this point my backside was clenched tight, what i thought were some of the better drivers on the day were all going into the other group, i thought i had blown it!

What a surprise when they asked us all to gather round the race car for a picture session as we were the final 18.........I think the words "piss off you can't be serious" were whispered at this point.

Time for ultra panic mode, this was getting serious, lunch? "na you can shove that it will be extra weight for the afternoon"...........

About 20 nervous toilets stops later, fluids and a banana and it was upon me.......It was hilarious watching the last 18 guys pacing up and down including myself, we were like a bunch of expectant fathers, time seemed to stop.

The afternoon format was nice and simple, Nissan wanted the quickest driver.

You had 10 minutes on Stowe Circuit in the GTR to find your lines and get in the zone, then it was a 10 minute "Qualifying session" your fastest lap of the session was counted and the top 4 drivers went into a shoot out, the other 14 were sent packing.

The 10 minutes were gone in a flash, i was exhausted, brain absolutely mashed (not as mashed as the brakes on the GTR though) was my time quick enough to make the final 4?

Well results were in and sadly i had failed at the final hurdle.

My best laptime was a 43.2 the fastest of the day was a 42.7, so i was point 5 of a sec down on the best of the day and the eventual winner of the event, half a second between my dream being realised and shattered.

The overall winner was ultra quick, smooth and came from a background of having raced bikes extensively so i was proud of myself, considering the only training i have ever had was 1 day with Jo and the team at CAT.

The vast majority of the last group had all raced karts from a young age and spent hundreds of hours on track, i was able to take some credit for getting as far as i had.

An amazing experience, it was all being filmed for TV which added even more pressure, i have my laps and progress throughout the day and will load these up into Youtube when i get a chance.

A massive thank you to Nissan for a brilliant well organised and high profile event, a huge thanks to the instructors at Silverstone who helped me reach the final cut..............

Lastly a massive well done to the eventual winner, he kept his head to walk away with a life changing prize, well done the best man won on the day and by a comfortable margin, Nissan have themselves a star in the making!!

This experience has proven 1 thing to me, seat and track time are vital to making you a better driver, now i have my National B license i am going to try and get myself a drive in a Juniour series to help improve my technique.

Keep your eye out for a fat Jock squeezed into a Clio or other small car making me look like a pea head next year.........



565 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
did you do a quick reflash when no-one was looking :p

nice one
Thanks for the kind comments lads really appreciated.

I wish i had taken my Cobb with me Zed, it was Nissan's own cars, would have loved to have seen their faces when they downloaded the data at the next service after i gave them a Stage 2 99 Ron map.......;)

421 Posts
Really well done ScottyB. I know loads of the participants who attended last year too had raced for many years (me included), so getting through to the final shortlist is quite something!

Craig - if you're out there (and I know you are as I've seen a post from you!) tell us some more!!

MODS - why not put this thread in the general R35 section. Many people only look there (I know they shouldn't, but let's not go there), and it would serve to counter a ridiculous whinging thread about the same event.

32 Posts
Hi Scotty,

That is a great write up, your morning sounds exactly the same as mine, not knowing if you was good enough to make it through.The toilets, the pacing the whole lot sounds exactly what i was going through. The drifting was a bitch exactly how you told it you cant get the balance with the steering,throttle and brakes. Your times were really good and now you have got your license there is no excuse, get racing.... Thanks for your comments they are really appreciated.
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