The 2017 season arrived, and following on from my successful 2016 campaign, I was hoping to transfer my momentum gathered into my first season of car racing, the Ginetta GT5 Challenge racing with the GBR team and  running alongside the British GT and occasionally the British Touring Car Championship. It was a very exciting new chapter in my life. The car had a 1.8 litre Ford Zetec engines producing on average 120bhp  which doesn't sound like a lot, but the cars are incredibly light so their power to weight ratio was around the same as a road-going hot hatchback. It was a daunting prospect jumping out of a kart into a car and it felt completely alien at the time. It was clear I'd have to take this season one step at a time and build my blocks of experience as I went. The season calendar from 2017 is below:

Round 1

Oulton Park International

16th- 17th April

Round 2


29th- 30th April

Round 3

Thruxton – BTCC

6th – 7th May

Round 4

Silverstone GP

10th – 11th June

Round 5


8th-9th July

Round 6

Knockhill - BTCC

12th 13th August

Round 7

Donington Park GP

23rd – 24th September

This season was a baptism of fire into car racing for me. Having no experience in a car race before the first race itself didn't do my confidence any favours and I struggled to feel comfortable with a notoriously twitchy car. As the season went on, my pace improved as did my racecraft. Starts became a strength from Zandvoort onwards as I became more comfortable with my surroundings and by the end of season, I was often a top ten contender. One major issue I had this season was that I was under-aggressive. I didn't defend enough in races and thus, often lost out in wheel-to-wheel battles. As the season came to an end I found my feet and was confident enough to get involved in proper battles, but from that point on, despite my pace constantly being inside the top 6, was when reliability issues hampered my chances of getting a good result. A brake failure at the final round curtailed my season one race early but I suppose to summarise this season, "You've got to start somewhere" and I learnt all of my base racecraft from this season that I could then transfer into 2018.

©2018 Angus Fender. All rights reserved.
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