2011. I've come late to the blogging fold, but no matter. This season marks a new start and with it come new scribblings.
I've been karting regularly for a little over 12 years and along the way have amassed enough trophies to clutter our house. It's a small house. And that Tesco Value bubbly that I won at Thruxton two years ago really has to go... I enjoy it more than ever, and I'm still learning. Circuit racing, like any sport, is a craft, and only a gifted few ever truly master it.
There have been highs and lows this past decade, but it's the highs that stay with you. My first podium, under the drizzle and floodlights at Milton Keynes, with my new girlfriend (now wife) in attendance. My first win, soon after. Competing against, and teaming up with, some great drivers over the years. But one event does tower above all the others: the inaugural Daytona 24 Hours, at Milton Keynes in September 2009. I could write thousands of words about that day alone, but in a nutshell, I captained a talented young team in my first ever 24 hour race. After nearly 1200 laps it went down to the wire, and we won by 3 seconds.
Now, though, I'm facing my biggest challenge yet. I haven't sat in a kart since October 2009, having taken a year off to save for the Whistler Odyssey (see whistlerodyssey.blogspot.com). And I'm about to go head to head with the best drivers in the country in a brand new series called the British Rental Kart Championship (www.brkc.net).
I'd planned to get some practice in but there hasn't been time... and, dare I say it, I've gone soft. I'm not sure I can be bothered any more with the travelling, the early starts, the stress... surely, at 37, I'm not past it? I'm younger than Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, any number of Le Mans veterans.
Time will tell. Round 1 is in Birmingham, next weekend.