We love a good feel good story here at Ginetta HQ, and our ‘friend off the telly’ (hello namedroppers) Richard John Neil told us this wonderful story about a man named Steven Dailly recently. We loved it so much, we wanted to share the news with you.
So, Stephen, a 24 year old racing driver from Edinburgh (and reigning Scottish BMW Compact Cup champion) won, yes, won the chance to race a Ginetta G55 GT4 car at Knockhill a few weeks ago, and the way he found himself on the grid was an interesting one. Here’s Steven’s story…..
“It all started as a challenge. British GT driver Phil Dryburgh, of Production Glassfibre, said he would let me drive the car if I won all 16 rounds of the Scottish BMW Compact Cup. Phil was competing in the series and we had been talking about my future plans.
It was an amazing offer but a small part of me did not think it would happen even when I clinched that clean sweep, but Phil was as good as his word and I can’t thank him enough. We had a look at a couple of options but reckoned the Super Touring Car meeting at Knockhill was perfect. I knew the track and there would be a home crowd – and what a crowd it was. We definitely picked the best weekend for it.
I saw the Ginetta for the first time on the Friday. I was just blown away by it. Just sitting in the car took me back to my karting days. The obvious difference was the paddle shift gears. I wasn’t used to them but I got to grips with them fairly quickly. The biggest smile came from the speed of the car – it was stunningly fast.
I settled in quite quickly. I had my usual team around me from KC Motorsports – who handle the BMW – and the Ginetta was run by CW Motorsport. They did an amazing job all weekend and it was a real honour to work with them. They made sure I was happy in the car and we were able to work together to get the car just how I wanted it.
The first session went as well as I could have hoped. I am no stranger to speed and I know the track – it was just getting used to the aerodynamics and the grip. They were phenomenal and it took me a while to work out how far I could push that.
The Ginetta is a proven package and it is easy to see why. It is a good, solid car that is great fun to drive. Qualifying gave me the first chance to show what the car could do and I put it on pole with a 53-second lap which is really fast for a Ginetta at Knockhill and I was delighted with that.
I still felt I was learning. It would be my first race start and it showed. I didn’t get off the line too well and was down in fifth place but then I just got on with the job of driving the car and enjoying myself as well. There were a lot of faster cars out there, but the Ginetta had the grip and the braking to make a difference. I managed to claw back a few places and finished in second.
I got a much better start in the next race. I was second for a few laps then managed to pass Finlay Crocker and take the lead. I held it there and just kept it nice and smooth and got the win.
It was a completely different experience to driving my BMW. I didn’t have to fight the car at all and I actually found it easier to drive than the BMW. I made a lot less mistakes and I took to it very quickly. The car just suited me really well.
I had hoped to do the GT5 Challenge anyway but now I have driven its bigger brother and you can’t go back, can you? You drive this car once and you just want to drive it again but it is a bigger budget. That said, it is definitely one of options and I would be delighted to race it again.”