Pole Position at Brands FIA F2 Support Race
Pole Position at Brands FIA F2 Support Race. 22, 23, 24th July 2011
Red Dragon had managed to secure this race weekend as a support race for the FIA F2 and GT open on the full GP circuit.
Qualifying was on Friday for the Nippon race 1 that would take place later that evening, race 2 was on the Saturday evening. MR2 quali was on Sunday morning with the two, 20 mins races in the late afternoon.
Nippon qualifying went well with a time of 1.59.5, this put me 4th in class, 17th on the grid. Race 1 was fairly uneventful although I managed to finnish 3rd in class and win a trophy.
The 2nd Nippon race on the Saturday proved to be more exciting as knowing the circuit by now I was able to get quicker lap times. I was racing Jon Winter in his Hyundai for most of the race, although I could corner faster than him, he would pull a gap on the straights which made it difficult to pass him. I finished this race 4th in class.
That evening whilst having a BBQ and lots of beer we watched each others in car footage, hoping this would give us an advantage when the MR2 qualifying went ahead the next morning.
Being one of the first 6 cars in the collecting area for the qualifying was vital as there would be 34 cars on circuit during the session.
With new tyres fitted we went out hoping to be in the top 10. After the first couple of laps getting the tyres up to working temperature, I decided to overtake the two cars that were in front to go for a lap on my 4th lap, when the tyres are at their best. This worked and I had a clear track, when I saw my lap timer displaying 1.54.5, I decided to come in to the pits as that was the quickest lap I’d achieved all weekend. After taking some tyre temperatures we looked at the live timing and to our amazement I was P1.
With 11 minutes of the session still left we watched anxiously to see if my lap time would be beat. Fortunately it wasn’t so I was on pole for what was only my 8th race ever.
Starting on pole was great but with 33 cars behind you was a little scary, as the lights went out I didn’t get a great start and had been shuffled back to 6th by the time I reached the 2nd corner, This is where I finished the race although some great dicing with Neil Hurren saw us swapping positions until the red flag came out after the race had ran ¾.
I started race 2 in P6 where I had finished race 1, although I got a better start than previously had still managed to loose places. At the mid point of the race I was amongst a gaggle of us from P3 to P8. I was in P7 with Jon Winter’s tiger car in front and Chris Shackle waiting to pounce from behind, The last 10 mins was spent with me trying to find a way past, but as Jon had won race 1 he was determined I would not get past. Even a little ‘love tap’ didn’t do the trick. (Sorry Jon)
The 22GT team had a great weekend with lots of close racing
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