Second place success at DTM
Having put on a great race whilst supporting the F2’s in July, the Nippon Challenge was offered the chance to support the DTM at Brands Hatch. The meeting was spread over three days. Qualifying was on Friday at 5pm, Race 1 was on Saturday at 5pm and Race 2 was on the Sunday also at 5pm. This left a lot of ‘free’ time to watch some racing during the day.
A disappointing quail session due to others going off the circuit which in turn brought out the yellow flags. Having only posting one lap without flags when a Subaru went off infront of me at Paddock Hill bend I decided to retire to the pits and check tyre data. Unknown to me the session continued with no flags being waved as the organisers didn’t feel it was in a dangerous position; it was during these remaining 5 laps that most of the others achieved their fastest lap time. My lap time equalled my best for the circuit but I was hoping for better. My lap time was 1.01.2 which gave me 19th position on the grid of 29 cars and 3rd in class.
After an awesome start and then running over someone’s bumper that had come adrift I was able to move up the order, at the end of lap 1 was in 12th position. An accident at ‘Graham Hill Bend’ on lap 1 which resulted in 2 cars going off was apparent by the yellow flags being waved as we passed them on the second lap, two corners later the safety car came out. We followed the safety car for a further three laps but the race got red flagged due to the seriousness of the accident.
Later in the paddock we were told that the race was declared ‘void’ as we had only raced 2 laps.
Having a great start in race 1 was encouraging and I wanted to emulate this at the start of this race. Starting on the left hand side of the grid on a track that had mainly dried out but was still damp in a few places was a good position to be in.
As the lights went out I was able to get a good start, taking to the middle of the track for ‘Paddock’ and the outside of the track at ‘Druids’ which enabled me to pull a gap on the same class cars that were behind. I was still third in class when the safety car came out and bunched us all up again around lap 5.
Once racing resumed my sights were set on number 38 who was 2 cars infront. I spent the next few laps catching both of them up; once I had caught them up they collided and after narrowly avoiding the spinning car, overtook and moved up to second in class.
The remaining laps were spent trying to keep the laps very neat and tidy and with a virtually dry track at the end was able to put in a lap time of 1.00.2 which is a new personal best.
Thanks to all the 22GT crew for a great weekend.
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