Second in class at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
The Rockingham event for the MR2 race series proved difficult from the moment qualifying started on Saturday morning. Although the weather was dry and bright and I knew the circuit I just couldn’t get a clean quali lap, not through traffic though, it was due to making mistakes on each one of my timed laps. Qualifying ended for me on lap 5 when I outbroke myself into the final chicane and hit the raised curb which left the steering wheel off centre. I decided not to continue and retire to the garage.
At my lap timer was not working I was surprised when the Qualifying Classification came out. I was 5th on the grid with a time of 1.44.1.
Race 1 – Saturday.
Starting behind the pole sitter on the grid I thought that my start was not too bad, although I had lost 3 places after the first corner putting me in 8th by the end of lap. I spent the next 5 laps harassing car No.77 for P7 and managed to overtake him at the first corner on lap 7. We had lost time racing each other the race leaders had pulled away. Fortunately taking P6 as the driver had clutch issues with 2 laps to go. Due to an incident with two of the leaders which resulted in one retiring and the other spinning, I was able to take 4th position on the final lap.
On inspection of the tyres after the race, it was clear that they weren’t up to the abrasive track, and all us front running cars had stripped a band of tread from the tyre.
The tyres are a medium/soft compound. I also had a set of hard compound tyres with me that I decided to use for race 2. I knew that they would not be as fast as the medium/soft tyres for a lap time but I was sure that there would be a cross over period in the race when they became better than the others, due to the damage the others were sustaining.
Race 2 – Saturday.
Starting 4th on the grid and dropping to P9 by the first corner, this is where I stayed for the entire race, not being able to catch the leaders and being slightly faster than them behind. There was no ‘cross over period’ for the tyres which left me very disappointed. I will not be running the hard compound tyres again!
Sunday’s quali for the Nippon was damp, with this in mind I decided to just do the minimal laps to qualify. A time of 1.54.9 put me in P29, 5th in class, within a grid of 24 cars.
Race 1 – Sunday
Having got an awesome start for the first time of the weekend, and a great 5 opening laps of the race I was able to overtake 12 cars and by lap 6 was in P17, 2nd in class.
I had to retire from the race on lap 7 as a rear track control arm sheered its bolt resulting in a big ‘off’ at 100 mph. Luckily I was able to gain control and pull off track to the rear of the garages. After fitting a new bolt and checking for other damage the car was ready for the final race of the weekend.
Race 2 – Sunday
Having a DNF in race one meant I started this race 26th on the grid. I had another great start in this race and was able to overtake a car a lap throughout the first 7 laps of the race. When the chequered flag was waved on lap 9, I was in 19th position overall and 2nd in class.
Overall a strange weekend results wise, but a thoroughly enjoyable weekend for us all including my wife and children that came to watch me race for the first time.
More information on this event will appear soon.
Check back closer to the event date for an update.
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