I hadn't driven till just before the race once again, but during Q I seemed to find my stride with the track and suddenly gained massive time on my last lap when I put all the rights corners together. The 15,2 was even with running out of fuel by Canada corner, spluttering over the line and I couldn't believe the time was what it was and good for P6 after looking like it would be a P8/9 most of the session. That would have been P3 without the mishap surely.
However maybe it was good I didn't have a lot of fast guys on my tail because for some reason the connection was truly horrible. On cold tyres I had to pace myself whilst the guys ahead got up to speed to avoid getting them into trouble with me. Michael even noticed in his mirrors how I appeared to warp around so it must have been quite hard to race, glad I didn't get too close before the disconnect took me out. I saw the group ahead of me moved sideways in most long corners, especially in the Carussel so that must have been your view of me too.
It seems since a couple hours later internet here is stable again and the problem wasn't inside my house even if a new modem was installed a few days before the race, however I will want to test it tomorrow if possible with a crowd around me whilst D2 prepares for the race. Rather not cause risks for the field by participating with this kind of issue.
Grats to the podium and good to see a lot of people had great battles around this awesome track! See you guys next time
With hospital visits, hectic days at work and at home and a long race at Monza in a Cooper in store, I thought it's best to not drive much and just go into the race planning to finish without stopping. I had not actually tried this beyond 5 lap stints but i knew with a bit of fuel saving I should be fine.
Qualifying pace wasn't really to be expected but quite a few mid 29's led to a P10 out of 13, at least not last but wondering what the race would be like, seeing guys disappear into the distance. The opening laps however I seemed to be able to keep in touch with the cars ahead for some time, the slipstreaming and battling working out nicely and cleanly as well. This looked like it was going to be fun actually and I did my best to keep the tow of the Brabhams around me. After Greg dropped to be right in front of me, Roy left with gear change issues to prevent damaging the car by having a wrong shift and Burt went into the gravel at Parabolica I was hoping to use him to pull myself along down the straights towards Michi further ahead. Sadly Greg slid into the Lesmo inside Armco and I had a gap to Michi which seemed very stable but I couldn't gain his tow, and then Burt went by as well after a bit of effort to try and defend the position, but it was no use eventually.
From then on I seemed to make the most of other people's further mishaps and pitstops. Sadly Burt was lost in his pitstop and got disconnected. There was the coming together with Michi after a great dice up to that moment for several laps, and Michael disappearing without me noticing until a few laps later that I was suddenly in P4, with Greg chasing me down, a steady 3-4 seconds behind me but with a wounded engine so effectively driving a Cooper as well. Then suddenly I saw a Honda pull out the pits on lap 42 but I didn't realise as I waved at him that it was in fact Enrique who pitted from P3 and we had a further challenge on our hands now. The only advantage I now had was the lighter fuel load as he pitted late for his only stop. He then proceeded to stick behind me with Greg right behind him for several laps until he had a bit of a mishap in Parabolica, and lost a few seconds. I used it to keep trying a few lift and coasts into Parabolica and short shifts out of there and Lesmo 2 in order to save as much as I dared without getting Enrique a run at me. with just 2 laps to go and not yet seeing the fuel pressure gauge dropping I was finally sure I would make it, and now decided to push, but it was a bit rough and Enrique actually closed a bit more again until I did my best lap in the very last lap, ensuring P3 was safe.
It was really the maximum possible for me, profiting off other people's unfortunate troubles and less efficient tactics, and stunned to find myself on the podium on this track in a Cooper. Never would have given myself the chance beforehand! Also the race was never dull, always having someone ahead of me or visible in my mirrors and having to push on to try and keep position was enjoyable. a highlight for me this season that's for sure!
Grats to Rob for the solid win and Frank for being safe in P2. Also congrats to the Honda drivers who all brought their heavy ticking bombs to the end of the race, a remarkable statistic! Wishing the unfortunate people above a more happy event in Phoenix. I wonder what can be done in a Cooper there, but surely it will be less surprising when the flag has dropped
Before writing a race report, I wanted to apologise to Michi, for our getting together in Curva Grande halfway through the race. It had been great battling with you up till that point and the incident was unfortunate to say the least. I had chosen to give up the corner and lifted early but then saw you scrub more speed on the outside and I was on the inside of you, and warp took care of the rest. Probably you coudn't see what I was doing in your mirrors. Sorry about that and i can understand it if you wish the stewards to have a look at it. Our battle deserved to go to the finish
Mmmm, countryside runs don’t have to be too long though. Tracks like Mount Panorama and Sachsenring are perfect for this, mount Panorama highly raceable as well with the straights and 90 degree bends at the end of them
Besides those a Goodwood with fix seems fun to try in the Revival weekend on the schedule, or alternatively if not this club track, maybe Croft or Snetterton.
For challenges I also don’t mind a run at Clermont Ferrand, or any other tracks of the kind that Rob mentioned
In terms of other legacy tracks, Road America or Le Mans Sarthe could do nicely too
It started with Roy sadly not being able to attend, and whilst I didn't run yet for two months, having missed the past 3 races due to holidays and general lack of spare time to race, it meant I had a choice of cars to run this event. I was at first a bit hesitant to enter the Ferrari, having driven only one online race with it back in 2001 in the HGPLM league and twice in EURO LAN events in the Netherlands the same year.
I did know that running more than a few laps in the Honda it slowly turned into a very understeery car in high speed corners on warm/hot tyres for me, so I did decide to practice this morning to see how it would go with the Ferrari. I was positively surprised, and decided to enter it after all, knowing in the Honda I might very well risk a blowup like at Tandil if I would push it properly.
I was hugging the 17s quite quickly but I never managed to get one all day even if sector times indicated so. It must be the 2% rust that needed clearing, but it was enough to get pipped by Iestyn by a few hundreths in qualifying, after I noticed the family had gotten fries for dinner and in the distraction behind me I went off at Stavelot after setting an early 18.8. I had 10 minutes till the last few minutes were due so I decided to eat and then return to the seat for a final dash. It was once again looking like a 3:17.8 going into the final 25% of the lap however I ran wide exiting La Carriere and then again exiting Blanchimont and barely able to hold the car, it ended up being a 3:18.48 instead.
I had trouble in the practice start on the server, getting too many revs, and trying different approach didnt really help, I again lost some traction, but despite that I seem to have gotten by Iestyn before reaching Eau Rouge. From then on a long story short, Robert ahead was already out of tow range and pulling out the steady 1,5 seconds per lap until I couldn't see him anymore, and Iestyn behind has jumped the barrier at Les Combes and whilst he was able to continue, Greg behind was also losing ground on me, so I was in no mans land, trying to challenge myself to keep the gap to Rob as small as I dared, as the car was being predictable as tyres warmed up still so I felt confidence to push at almost full effort. This worked really well until the penultimate lap when braking for Les Combes I realised I had slightly too much speed on entry and ran wide, tapping the barrier myself but fortunately only very gently and I was able to continue, having lost 2-3 seconds in the process. It sadly cost a shot at most consistent award as it turned out but I could still be very pleased with the result.
Grats to Rob on a super steady run up front and Iestyn coming back with good speed through the field to take 3rd. Speical mentions to Greg for doing a solid return drive to P4, it was worthy of a podium and I think I speak for all here when I saw we are all glad to see you back with us
Sorry to see Michael not able to run the race with us, you were missed, and Yannick, Ed, and Michi who I could see having trouble during the race. Better Luck to you all at Brno!
Hopefully I can run after the holiday break at Brno. Might be on holiday but not sure yet. Fingers crossed as having tried Brno today I feel eager to race it