It's not all work in the off-season, as Rory finds time for some fun in a 911!
Following my exciting announcement about the 2019 campaign I thought it would be a good idea to let you know what else I’ve been up to in the off-season.
It’s been over 2 months since my first full season in the British Touring Car Championship came to a close. They call it the off-season, but I find it can be just as busy - for different reasons. This is when all the groundwork is done for 2019 and teams and drivers pull deals together and get contracts signed for the new season.
Looking back at my year in the MG 6, it’s ticked all the right boxes. It allowed me to showcase what I can do, while learning the craft of the BTCC a little under the radar. The MG chassis didn’t necessarily allow me to score podiums and race wins, which was tough to take at times, but the right people could see what my AmD Tuning squad and I were doing.
Following the final round our efforts have really been acknowledged – with Autosport Magazine featuring me in their Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2018, the Scottish Motor Racing Club gave me an award for “punching above my weight” and the Fife Free Press put me through to the finals of the FFP Sports Personality of the Year Award. These awards don’t make or break a drivers career but it’s nice to know that people are taking note!
It’s not just been strictly business this off-season as I spent a day helping set up a 1965 Porsche 911 for Class Performance Engineering who are based out of Bicester Heritage. We spent a day at Donington Park and worked on making the car more driveable for their Argentinian client who was competing at Imola the following weekend. My love for classic cars is really growing each time I get behind the wheel. The modern Porsche 997 Carrera Cup racing car that I raced for Celtic Speed from 2011-2013 was an incredibly fast and well-balanced machine. Things have moved on so much in 60 years, but I can feel still feel some of the characteristics of the classic Porsche shining through in the modern car. In the classic car, I love how the weight of the engine is so high and far behind the rear axle, as you can use the pendulum effect to help the car steer through the corner. When you get it right, you hardly need to use the steering at all as the rear drifts round!
Looking ahead to what 2019 holds, it’s shaping up to be a career-defining year. I have so much support from my sponsors and I have to thank them for their continued backing, through so many different categories.