Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Donnington Race Event

The final round of the season was held at the fast and flowing Donington Park circuit.  As I'd never driven the track before we arrived on Friday afternoon and had a some practice laps.  Despite only managing a couple of 8 lap runs, I was happy with my performance and with the times I set.  Lots of cars pushed too hard and ended up being towed out of the gravel - much to everyone's frustration. 
The growing reputation and support the BRSCC Porsche Championship is attracting meant we had allocated pit garages which were our base for the weekend. 
Saturday Qualifying
The track was very busy with 26 cars trying to set fast time and some ending up in the gravel causing yellow flags!  Towards the end of the session I got three clear laps going faster each time to qualify 9th on the grid. This was my best so far and ahead of more experienced drivers and professionally prepared cars. 

Saturday Race 1
We made ride height and tyre pressure changes before the race in an attempt to improve braking into the final chicane and keep my tyres from overheatingI got a great start, however my first three laps were poor and I was not able to push confidently.  I had to focus on the car behind which was faster in the final sector and over the start line.  We had  great battle for position until the race was red flagged due to a liquid spill a few laps short.

Sunday Race 2
On Sunday morning thick fog had descended delaying all racing until lunchtime.  A hastily revised timetable gave use two 13min races which was much more than expected. After resetting the changes we had made previously I felt a bit more confident to push hard from the start and made sure I got lots of heat into the tyres on the green flag lap.  I again made a good start and took places from cars which ran wide at the first turn.  Whilst they re-took the position within a couple of laps, my times were fast and I was re-catching them until I made some mistakes and had to drop back as my tyres started to over heat slightly.  Although I finished 11th, being just 1sec a lap down on the mid Boxster pack was a great result.

Sunday Race 3
To create a season finale spectacle the grid was reversed by class for race 3!  I started on the 2nd row, but made an average start.

The race result was no different as the faster cars all passed me, but I had a great battle defending 9th position robustly as the light faded at the end of the race.  I couldn't quite hold on and lost out on the penultimate lap finishing 10th.