I can't believe the end of the year is here already, although the season ended on a high for me, finishing second at the Barcelona World Series by Renault race. Of course, it was a shame not to come away with victory after leading for most of the race, but I did the best I could and was happy to get a podium finish to complete my season.

Quite soon after Barcelona came winter testing and I took the opportunity to test for both Ultimate and P1 Motorsport. Driving for two different teams on the same track in similar conditions just a day apart is the perfect way to compare machinery, so I was very happy. It's not only machinery that you need to compare though. It is important to see what team atmosphere and the personnel are like and I must say that both Ultimate and P1 Motorsport were extremely professional. I must thank them both again for the opportunity.

Of course, I was also given the chance to try something a bit different this season by the Superleague Formula guys. This is a series that mixes football with motorsport and the whole experience was a lot of fun.

Both deals to race came very late and out of the blue. The first taste I got of the car was when I was asked to shakedown the Liverpool FC car earlier in the year. I think my name was then put on the 'subs bench' because, as soon as there was a chance to race, I got a phone call. The first race I did was at the Nurburgring, in the Glasgow Rangers car which was run by Alan Docking Racing. It's a track I know well, which meant I could concentrate on learning the car. I managed to finish fourth which I was really happy with as it was the team's best result so far.

I didn't do the entire season, so winning the last Superleague race of the season at Jerez in the Borussia Dortmund car was fantastic. It was a big surprise as I was told that I wouldn't be racing at all on the Saturday morning. I didn't take part in testing or qualifying, so to find myself sat at the end of the pit-lane at the start of race one was a bit strange, especially considering the fact that I'd never been to Jerez before, and my only laps had been three slow ones an hour before to make sure I had qualified. Thanks to ADR, Zakspeed and everyone involved in Superleague for giving me the chance to race though - it was great fun.

Now that the quiet Christmas period is here, it gives everyone a chance to reflect. I'll look back on 2008 with a lot of fond memories, but also some not so good ones. The low point was at Le Mans: leading the race, pulling away and then having your left front tyre blow is difficult to forget! But, like I said, there were some great times too. Fortec really grew as a team in 2008 and I pushed myself harder than I ever have before. The WSbR podium in Barcelona, the Superleague win at Jerez and the good winter testing is what I needed to carry over the winter into next season.

So what's next? Well, I made the decision recently to commit to the World Series by Renault for 2009. My destination is still secret at the moment, but it will be announced early in the New Year. All I will say is that I am very excited about my prospects in 2009. The only reason I'm returning for another year is to win the championship. I wouldn't be back if I didn't believe in myself.

I've been busy over in Jersey lately, trying to drum up some local support for my racing and I'll continue with that over the winter. I'll give training a rest for a week or so whilst I'm away with my family over Christmas but, sitting here now, I can't wait to get started on 2009. It's going to be the biggest and most important year of my life.

JW

 

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