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Correspondent&#39s week

My instructions were quite precise. We want you to do Correspondent&#39s Week but forget your week and concentrate on last week&#39s race.

So, out the door went a week of City meetings in search of the capital for my new retiring IFAs&#39 venture and the finalisation of Impartial&#39s new brochure on mortgage advice and in came an article dedicated to my new hobby – racing Ginetta sports cars.

It is Saturday 8am and I am at my local track – Silverstone- in the knowledge that a number of chums will be arriving to witness my current madness. I am greeted in the pits by Team Diet, which supports four drivers, including me.

The humour of someone of my size racing with Team Diet has not been lost on my fellow Ginetta racers, many of whom are half my size and half my age. F1 pundit Tony Jardine, this meeting&#39s celebrity G20 driver, joins us. Ginetta racing is split into two classes and I am in the slower G20 class.

At 11am, we are called out for qualifying. Two laps to go and the pit wall is full of uptilted thumbs. It transpires I am leading four other cars. In the last two laps, I improve my times but unfortunately those behind me have done even better. I have qualified 11th and last but with only a couple of hundredths covering the last four.

By now, guests are arriving from all parts of the circuit. The team has arranged lunch for 50 people – 67 arrive. The heavens open and one of my guests says he hopes it will continue so there will be more crashes to watch. Gee, thanks. After lunch, the guests melt away, spreading themselves around the circuit.

Thirty minutes before the race and fortunately Silverstone is bathed in sunshine. I am heading for the assembly area where you wait for the previous race to finish. Interruptions are not welcome as I usually spend this time doubting my sanity.

On to the grid which is offset, allowing me the chance to rush between the two cars in front and as one of them is a notoriously slow starter, this seems a good plan. We line up for the start and the cars in front have closed ranks. I have five seconds to think of a new plan.

The red light turns to green and I jink right and run between my slow-starting team-mate and the pit wall. By the time we all reach Copse, all hell has broke loose. Six cars in the other Ginetta class have tangled, taking out at least one G20. I sneak through. Most rejoin, including the G20 whose driver is now having a “red mist moment”.

At Becketts, he nearly chops the nose off my car, forcing me to stop, thus losing those immediately in front of me. By the end of the Club straight, waved yellow flags abound.

Our chum has taken out himself and my two nearest rivals. Suddenly I am eighth but alone on the track. On Lap eight, more waved yellows signify another stricken G20. That makes me seventh. But one of my rivals has rejoined and is making up on me fast.

Lap 10 and more flags. This time, another G20 has crashed and is marooned across the track. I elect to go around his rear. My rival plumps for his front and gains two seconds. I am now in sixth place and it is a race for the line, with the white G20 ever bigger in my mirrors. The pit board confirms one lap to go and they had better be right. I put in my fastest lap of the race and slide across the line half a second in front.

I have had a pretty uneventful race, only overtaking stationary cars and finished sixth. Who says the meek will not inherit the earth?

Garry Heath is chairman of Impartial


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