On the 6th and 7th of May, the 2017 Mazda MX5 Supercup, headed north to the picturesque Cadwell park circuit in Lincolnshire for rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the championship.
Worthing based racing driver Aidan Hills, was hoping for a better weekend after a disappointing weekend at brands hatch in April. It was his first trip to Cadwell and his weekend didn’t start very well. He had a crash in first practice on Friday morning, meaning his track time was hampered, and learning the track would be even more difficult.
Qualifying is very important at a track like Cadwell as it is very tight with not a lot of overtaking. It didn’t exactly go to plan for hills, with traffic and red flags, Aidan only managed a time good enough to start 21st for race 1.
When the racing started it didn’t take Hills long to get back in the groove, and he started to make up a few positions, including two brave overtaking manoeuvre’s into the daunting park corner. Hills finished the race a respectable 16th place.
Aidan Hills #80: “After crashing on Friday, and a disappointing qualy. I was quite happy just to finish race one, but to make up 5 place at a track where overtaking is very difficult. It shows we are definitely making steps in right direction. The car still wasn’t handling quite right, so me and my dad decided to make a big change to the set-up of the car for races 2 and 3 on Sunday.”
Race 2 came on Sunday morning, and Hills started 16th where he finished in race one. He got a great start moving up to 13th after lap 1, then the race was put into ‘code 60’. This meant the race only had 5 racing laps. Hills still managed to post a time 1 second faster than the previous day showing the changes made over night had radically improved the car, and he ended up finishing 13th.
“Race 2 was so much better, the car felt really racey for the first time, and if it wasn’t for the race being cut short I feel like we could have moved up a lot higher up than 13th."
With more confidence in the car for race 3, Hills found himself moving forward again and on the fourth lap, he managed to make a move into P9. The top 8 had pulled a bit of a gap from the rest of the field, so Hills was the best of the rest. He had relentless pressure every lap from the drivers behind, and had a race long battle with Nick Dunn. Hills managed to shrug off the pressure, and finished the race in 9th place, to claim his first top 10 in only his sixth circuit race.
“It was a really good race for me, the car felt great at the beginning of the race and allowed me to make up places early. The pressure from behind was mad, and I knew if I made any kind of mistake I would end up probably 4 or 5 places back. I had to use all my experience from karting and Rallycross to keep those boys behind me. I was defending like mad, and with about 2 or 3 laps to go, my rear tyres had completely gone off, so it was a massive relief when I came across the line. I can’t thank my dad enough for his support, and for making good changes with the set up on the car. We’re improving as a team every time I get in the car and I can’t wait to get back in it at Silverstone at the end of the month.”
The championship now heads to the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, for rounds 7, 8 and 9 on the 27th and 28th of May.