Hills makes progress in Wales
The BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Supercup headed to North West Wales to the spectacular Anglesey circuit for rounds; 16, 17 and 18 of the 2017 championship. Worthing based racing driver Aidan Hills made the trip up north with a lot more confidence after a positive weekend at Snetterton a few weeks prior.
Friday practice went well for Hills, learning the circuit and perfecting the car set up, he felt he had a good chance of a top ten in qualifying for the first time this season. Hills smashed he previous qualifying record of 11th, and managed to post the 6th fastest time in qualifying which he was very happy with. “I was over the moon when I saw the pit board say P6, it shows we are definitely moving in the right direction and we have already come a long way since the first round at Brands.”
For race one, the team decided to make a slight adjustment to the car to help with the set up. Unfortunately the set up change didn’t work and after the first few laps Aidan started to move down the field and ended up finishing 10th.“I was quite disappointed with race 1, we made a slight change to the car and didn’t expect it to effect the balance of the car as much as it did. It was still good to finish in the top ten, but after qualifying 6th I was hoping to push on into the top 5. Oh well that’s racing, it’s all about learning this year!”
On Sunday morning, the heavens opened and it was set to be Aidan’s first ever wet race in circuit racing and in rear wheel drive. The team didn’t exactly know what to do with the set up either, so it was very much jumping in the deep end for everyone. The race got to a good start and Aidan got up into 7th place where he would stay for the first few laps. At the beginning of lap 4 going into turn two, the inexperience got the better of Hills and he locked the rear brakes and spun. He dropped back to 20th place but fought back to finish 13th, with some good lap times on the way. “I was really gutted when I spun, I felt the car getting better and started pushing on a bit harder to try and bridge the gap to the top 6 and just made a small mistake. I had a good fun racing coming back through the field though, and learnt a hell of a lot about racing in the wet.”
The third and final race of the weekend was extremely wet. Hills got a bad start and found himself back to 17th before he had even got to turn 1. He fought hard for the first few laps and picked off a lot of places and found himself in 10th after 3 laps. The front pack had already pulled a big gap, and Aidan was in a tough battle with Sam Tatler for 9th place. The pair swapped places a few times, before Hills finally manage to get in front going round the outside of the tricky uphill hairpin at the rocket section. By then it was too late for Hills to catch up with the drivers in front, he did try however and posted some good lap times at the end of the race, bearing in mind the conditions were getting worse and worse. Hills ended up finishing a respectable 9th.
“I got an awful start, I just got loads of wheel spin and didn’t go anywhere. I then had to fight my way back through the field, and I knew when I got behind Sam it was going to be a lot harder to overtake. I had a great race battling with him, and if I could of got past him a few laps earlier I definitely could of put pressure on the cars in front. The car felt really good, and I was getting faster and faster the more used to it I got. I’m glad to get my first wet race out of the way, and glad we have found a really good wet setup. I’d just like to say a big thanks to my dad for all his help and support. I can’t wait to get out at Croft in 6 weeks!”