Barry-John McHenry: My return to Anglesey
July 5, 2012 by Barry-John McHenry
After two years the Dunlop Abarths returned to Anglesey in Wales where I had the biggest crash of my career back in 2010. This year I was keen to make amends for my lack of wins this season and was full of confidence in my Tom Kane Recovery backed car. After a single test session it was onto qualifying and pole position was anyones with the top 4 all qualifying within 2 tenths!. It was my team boss Alistair Kellett who pipped me to pole but I was relishing the chance of victory on the coastal track.
The first race was Saturday evening and I knew the start was crucial- something I was keen to put right after Bishopscourt. When the flag dropped the pack bundled into turn one and I managed to grab the lead from Alistair and the chasing pack behind. I opened out a nice little lead over the first lap and as they came up the hill on the back straight- the scene of my big shunt two years ago, I outbraked himself but got back on line still leading but now Kellett and Miller were all over me! Four laps in I was still leading, but coming into the Corkscrew Alistair got alongside. I kept the lead through the left hander but Alistair then got his nose in front for the right hander. Gary Miller followed him threw and I had to hit the brakes to avoid a collision, and now the Hard rock Café car of Gordon Kellett and Trevor Kinsella were all over the back of me. I was in danger of going from 1st to 5th in 3 corners, but I managed to keep my composure and battled on to take the final podium position- my first podium in Wales where I cruelly lost 3rd place in 2007 in the Fiat Uno Cup courtesy of a broken throttle cable on the final lap. I was angry with myself for letting this one slip away but still confident for race two on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning came and it wasn’t raining, but the track was still wet from the overnight showers. Everyone struggled on deciding what tyres to run as the track was clearly damp but could dry up very quickly. I decided to go full slicks with everyone else going for slicks on the front and wets on the back. I reckoned it was worth the gamble, as I needed to try something different to the pack. I started 3rd and again got a great start, side by side with the leaders going into turn 1 but it was pretty clear I didn’t have the grip of the others and quickly dropped off from the top 3. Fighting for 4th was now my new mission and boy did it feel good to cross the line with a bag of points and a car still in one piece! I really enjoyed the weekend although the results weren’t exactly what I was after, but that’s motorsport and I’m already looking forward to the next race.
Special thanks to the team and all our sponsors
Tom Kane Motors 24hr Recovery and transportation
Europcar Car Rental
Speedy Tyres and Auto Services
Dunshaughlin Motor Company