The Heat Of Summer

Updated: Jul 28

Good Afternoon! It's been a while! I hope you are all well! I was looking at my previous blogs recently and I've realised it's one of only a few things that I have a real passion for.

I'm passionate about music (or, rather, listening to music - it fills me with great joy) iRacing (when it goes right - rarely XD) and blogging.

I don't know if it's because I enjoy telling people what I get up to, it's a way for me to process what's happened, or because I like writing about myself and the things I do (egotistical).

Saturday 18th June, 2022

The 18th June was a bittersweet day - the sweet part was that I finished/published my most recent blog (at the time), the bitter part was the Glen 6 Hours.

I'll admit, I wasn't the MOST prepared to race in the Watkins Glen 6 Hours - I didn't have a team, setup and I only had my first race since April earlier that week.

I paired up with Lorenzo Malave who was also down to drive the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo - making

Once again, in the lead-up to this race, I asked the original squad of Aitor and Maxim if they wanted to have a nostalgic drive, but both were busy.

The event started pretty well, Lorenzo qualifying us 15th in the all-GT3 split.

By the 5th lap, we were already in the Top 5 and Lorenzo wasn't done there, securing 3rd place before the end of his stint.

I got into the car, and was "pressured" by Lorenzo and the fact we were sitting high and proud in 3rd position...I mean...were.

I lasted less than 10 laps before I twanged it into the wall. In a 6 hour race, crashing out this early, meant that a Top-10 was off the cards. I guess we COULD have finished, but during those times, you feel so demotivated that sometimes you don't want to get back into the car.

From memory, I believe I got a wheel wide on the exit of turn 9 and ploughed into the ARMCO barrier - no matter how it was caused, it was my fault and I suppose I was pushing a bit to keep the gap up, I suppose what I needed was "you're doing really well, just keep the pace where it is, just keep completing lap-times and keeping it clean" - but Lorenzo was rapid, so depending on how Uni is looking, I might do it next year.

19th June, 2022

The 19th saw the start of a short period where I was at home - I believe this was my first time home during the summer holidays.

That night, elsewhere on the Island, Tom Grennan played at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

20th June, 2022 - 21st June, 2022

Surprisingly little happened, I just stayed indoors, stayed in from the heat, and just enjoyed(ish) my time off.

There was still assignments playing on my mind, but I also had plenty of other things to be getting on with.

I did a bit of practicing with Tom Wallace, but other than I did nothing (other than celebrate the longest day of the year).

Not long after, Will and I would race the sun overnight from Land's End to Lowesoft - the most Westernly point to the most Easternly point in England.

22nd June, 2022

On the 22nd June, I continued my rather depressing GT3 Challenge season - I say "depressing", as I wasn't really sure what I wanted to race in, but I wanted to try out one of the new Mercedes', so, as I chose the GT3 (as I thought I'd be good in it), I sort of said to myself that I'd "long it out" and race the whole season in the Merc.

Turns out, the Merc isn't as fun as I thought it was - yes, I could get reasonably good results, but it's just not as "nimble" and "light" as the rear-engined Ferrari's and Lamos

W1 - Hockenheim - 8th (Pitch Black)

W2 - Long Beach - 6th

(Missed Fuji Week - bought it anyway later lol) W4 (22nd June) - 11th - I felt like I had no pace/the car wasn't quick

W5 - Montreal/Circuit Gilles Villneuve - 5th (Season Best)

W6 (Did In Ferrari) - 8th

W7 - Sandown 12th - (New Track)

Some unlucky moments and results in-between made this a very "back and forth" summer for my iRating, but the present is only temporary, and there's still two months to fix it! (writing this in July)

Other than the natural pile-up that happens in GT3, it was a stellar race, starting 9th and finishing 6th.

Admittedly, qualifying was a bit crushing as I got an incident point AFTER I had finished a faster lap.

Off the line, I gained 3 positions - 1 from the BMW that caused said pile-up (9th place) 1 (back) from the rainbow Ferrari to my inside and a further (8th) 1 from 6th whom started from the pits (8th)

Standard Long Beach Scenes.

For some unknown reason, on Lap 4, both the leader and P6 pitted - gifting me 5th place.

By mid-way into the race, I was comfortably in 5th...but I was being hunted down by the BMW behind me, who had been pumping out consistently faster lap-times than I.

With 5 Laps to go, The BMW was closer, yet not in my slipstream...I just had to keep it together.

The following lap (Lap 11) - he eventually caught me, and managed to out-brake me and pull off quite a nice move around the outside.

At the time, the 1230 iRating I got out of this race was the highest I had been all year - in fact, the last time I had this high iRating was late November, 2021 (7 Months)

I also first ordered some car curtains, but due to a payment problem, it never went through.

I ordered these again and they said it would arrive on the 24th June.

24th June: First came, but couldn't deliver. They didn't deliver on the weekends, so I had to re-organise it for Monday (literal days before my trip) 27th June: They come back on Monday, and guess what? Same thing. I call him and give him INSTRUCTIONS on where my house is, and he says that he'll go back to my house after he's delivered the rest of the parcels. Of course he doesn't and I waste an entire day trying to listen to DPD's Bullshit.

I literally do not know what more I could have done other than go to the port and hold him at gun point and tell him to hand the parcel.


23rd June

On 23rd June, I did my first ever solo fluids check - usually someone would have to be beside me, or to remind me, but this time, with the impending road-trip I had ahead, I decided to go out there and check that I had enough fluids in my car.

Elsewhere, on the mainland, Goodwood Festival Of Speed, 2022 started.

24th June

I had a few days at home before the run began on the 29th June. As it was far from Essex, or indeed The Isle Of Wight, I (and Will) planned to drive down there a day or two before, so we wouldn't be tired once we got to Land's End - and wouldn't then have to do the run after a multiple-hour drive to get there.

On the 24th June, I'd leave the Isle Of Wight for the last time before the run - Evie, a friend of mine had invited me to an Ed Sheeran Concert in London - and being a relatively big Ed Sheeran fan myself, I couldn't turn down the monumental opportunity. After telling me, I immediately started scouring London for free places to park, and eventually found a residential street about 10 minutes from Wembley Stadium.

After a little bit of a faff to get in (especially as I didn't know how the tickets on Evie's phone worked) I got in - and was the only one with a bag of my size - so automatically felt VERY self-conscious, and then knowing I shouldn't have got in with the bag, I feel like I don't know what to do with it, do I take it off so that I can show the staff I'm aware of it? Do I act normal and be told again?

(Spoiler: it was fine, but I did think I was being watched from all angles as a bomb threat)

The view wasn't TERRIBLE although it wasn't great either - but I wasn't going to complain as I had LITERALLY got into an Ed Sheeran concert for free - and was about to see one of my music idols that I looked up to (definietly in the Top 10!)

The two supporting acts were an artist called "Dylan" (who produced fast-paced pop music) and Maisie Peters who was signed by Ed Sheeran, and a good friend of Ed.

The concert was amazing - but unfortunately lacked the "intimacy" that the previous two concerts did - compared to Wembley Stadium, I was probably sitting right underneath the nose of both One Republic and Tom Grennan when I saw them!

The woman that sat next to us was also incredibly friendly and encouraged us to have a little dance - although I felt sorry for the people behind us! There may or may not have been alcohol involved in these antics (myself and Evie did not consume any, no matter what happened.)

So that everyone had a good view of Ed, the (flat) stage had the ability to rotate 360 degrees - allowing even those behind set-design to have a chance to see Ed sing and perform - and the thing that baffled me the most was the fact that he could pump out an absolute anthem, do just a little bit of talking and then belt out another tune.

His last song went on for 5 - 10 minutes, and he was running around the stage, whilst singing - belting out 2 hours worth of songs without looking like a deflated seal is one thing, but to then do that on a rotating stage, and keep running, singing and ensuring you don't get dizzy, that's at a whole different level!

In typical British fashion, just as the concert ended, the heavens opened - and as my camera died a few songs from the end, I had used my phone for the last couple of songs, and it was running pretty low on charge.

After about 10 minutes under shelter, we knew that the rain wouldn't ease up, so we dashed to the nearest open road, where half-a-dozen taxis were parked. With everyone calling Ubers, the Uber App ran like shite (it only kept loading), and even when a driver was found, locating him amongst a sea of black Prius' (in the dark) was certainly a challenge, especially with no real "landmarks" parse.

Eventually we did find him (my phone battery LUCKILY lasting just enough time) and we headed back to the car.

Of course, when we arrived at the car, it had pretty much stopped raining. To my utter delight, the car hadn't been clamped, towed or noted - so there is a place to park in central London about 10 minutes away from Wembley Stadium for free, but I'm not revealing anything, because the moment I publish this, and they find out where Free Parking Street is, they'll probably whack up some "Parking Permit" signs or the like.

But it's much better than the driveway someone was offering for a whopping £20!!!

I suppose getting free parking cancelled itself out, as I would have either paid the Uber or the car-park charge.

Evie's parents were kind enough to let me stay the night after we got back, which sorted the first night of accommodation.

25th June 2022.

I headed back to the Isle Of Wight with the hopes that my car-curtains would arrive, and because I didn't have to leave until Monday - however DPD cocked it up so badly, I didn't bother with them again.

It took two attempts, a phone call, a message DESCRIBING where the house was, and what the outside looked like, and they still didn't fucking deliver it.

I eventually booked a ferry for the 28th (Tuesday) and stayed home since (between 25th - 27th)

I've decided to leave this blog here, as I want to dedicate an entire blog to the Land's End to Lowesoft Trip.


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