Back-to-back race wins at Donington Park
WHEN Max Hart spoke to the Wicklow People at the start of February, he had been dropped by his biggest sponsor and was facing into a season of uncertainty and anxiety in the lead up to each race weekend.
Fast forward to this past week, when even down the phone, the smile on the Newtown-native’s face can be practically heard, as he celebrated winning back-to-back races in Donington Park to extend his lead at the top of the TCR Championship to 44 points.
He beamed: “It was the best weekend I ever had and probably the happiest I have ever been in my life.
“It was an amazing weekend. I had a lot of family there, as well, and friends. It was perfect. It is very unheard to win the two races in a row, especially on a reverse grid.”
“The championship has gone up a level. There are 27 cars, so it is a very tough and competitive grid. TCR is close racing and in the first race, I started fourth. My target was to get a podium and I set out for a podium.
“I had a good start, got up to second and then I got the lead and I started building a gap. I won by just over ten seconds, which never happens in any sort of close racing. A ten second lead never happens so that was so good. Coming into the second race, I thought I had the pace to get a top five so that was sort of the goal.
“We are on a very big package there were probably 20000 fans there, and sponsors, loads of stuff at it. It was a brilliant weekend and, I don’t mean this in a cocky way, but it made me look very good.”
He is quick to clarify that he is still racing on a week-to-week basis, with much of his preparation time between races committed to negotiating with prospective sponsors.
With Brands Hatch coming up on June 18 and 19, he will be busy putting the resources together to compete to his best and reinforce his lead.
“I was down in the dumps, I suppose, but I still currently don’t have the budget to finish the year but I have so much momentum with me now to go out there and get more sponsors. Since the last time I spoke to you, things are so much better and coming off a weekend like that, it is difficult not to be feeling good.
“Originally, I would have just gone out and raced hard but I have to make sure I enjoy it. I am in a very unique position and there are loads of people who love racing and are good race drivers that don’t have the opportunity that I have been given. I have to make sure I enjoy it and certainly not having the budget and having to go race by race, I have to remind myself that I have to enjoy it.”