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Rupert Howe is making his Motor Racing Debut this season in a newly acquired Royale RP26

Diary of a Novice Driver

By guest, Mar 4 2014 07:43PM

I have always had an interest in motorsport. This began watching F1 in the 80s and 90s and attending Historic Motoracing Meetings with my father. A thought I often toyed with, and then just as regularly put aside, was that maybe I could one day head out on track. This day however looks set to arrive soon.

After a few months looking at the price of cars and then with a little guidance and encourgement from Peter Hackett I have taken the plunge and am the rather nervous owner of a Royale RP26 formula ford.

My technical knowledge really amounts to nil but again with the assistance of Peter I have recently completed (in a manner of speaking) a test day at Silverstone and look set to race at Donnington this month. The caveat in the last sentence can be explained by pointing out that I never in fact went onto the circuit. Instead I blasted up and down one of the numerous open expanses of tarmac that the track boasts in order to build confidence. Confidence was duly built but not before the clutch went and made it a wiser choice not to head out with the risk of stalling and finding myself in the middle of a corner being narrowly missed by frustrated Formula 4 drivers. Helpful adivce again led me to leave the car in the capable of hands of Derek and James Buckton who have put the RP26 into good order for its first genuine outing.

The day was nevertheless very useful and left me more familiar with the car, the gears and generally loading it on and off the trailer (we pretty much lifted it on at one point, as I in my early morning stupor forgot to load the planks to roll the car on to the trailer). In addition to this the car's performance seriously raised my eyebrows and put a genuine smile on my face. Can I really be about to race other people in one of these rocket powered rollerskates?

What you have just read may not sound like an ideal start but this process has left me just a few weeks from the start of my first motorace and has proved to be easier than expected with the help that the Classic Formula Ford crowd have kindly offered. All that remains now is to count the days to the first practice and qualifying session with ever increasing nerverous excitement.

Rupert Howe

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