Many years ago I introduced my brother, Mark, to volunteering in motor sport but he’d never competed. Looking for “different” ideas for his birthday present, we offered him use of the MG ZR for a day, and to arrange his club membership and entry fee so he could try grassroots motor sport.
Whilst my brother may be an adult, he will always be my “baby brother” so yes, he has a driving licence, but the idea of him driving my car competitively and me sitting alongside him was still slightly amusing. Oxford MC had a Production Car Autotest at Finmere which is local to us and being less than three week’s before Mark’s birthday, it seemed an ideal event for him to have a go.
Having arrived at the venue, we got Mark to drive the car to scrutineering and then very slowly around the paddock so he had at least driven the car. We’d spoken to the organisers in advance who’d kindly organised our colour groups so that I could drive before Mark and he could see what the tests were like through passengering for me. We walked the test and gave Mark some pointers, but then it was down to him.
It was greasy in the morning, and those conditions really suited me. After the first round of tests, I was first overall! Mark drove his first set of tests without any mistakes or cone penalties and enjoyed it.
As the day went on, the venue dried out which was a shame for me; I was quicker in the slippier conditions and started to drop down the results. Mark was growing in confidence and even had the car sideways a few times. His times were getting closer to mine, and you could see and feel the improvements in his driving.
He said he really enjoyed his day, and hopefully he’ll be able to borrow our car in the future. As much as I teased him, it was really enjoyable to be competing alongside him and I’m glad we could give him the opportunity. He wasn’t last, and did well for his first competitive motor sport event.