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This race is probably best forgotten. I’d had a frustrating day, that got even more frustrating with this race, then doubly so after it ended. It’s a shame as although qualifying wasn’t terribly productive, yet again, I thought I could have a really nice battle with those of similar early pace during the race.

During qualifying I was still finding time as it ended, as usual. Not enough time put in prior to the event, as usual. I qualified on the final row, but knew I’d probably be able to find some more time and lap a bit faster in the race (as usual).

Start was great, as I sliced past a slow starter with ease. Into the first turn I bumped door to door with Ray Woolhead as he tried to avoid another car. He spun out, I moved into 9th.

As I went around that first lap, a few guys were off in the grass and worried me a bit as they rejoined. All I could do was adjust my line as much as possible and hope they didn’t hit me. Then I would see guys behind looking like they were going to overtake and I kept giving them room rather than holding my line. Nobody ended up hitting me, but towards the end of the lap going off line slowed me up. Into the final turn I was so far away from where I needed to be, I could hardly get enough steering lock to make the turn and lost a position under acceleration.

Starting lap 2 I had just lost 7th place and it looked like the car behind was going to try the inside into the first turn, I ran wide to give him room, lost the back end under braking, spun across the track and slid into the car of Rob James. Rob was out on the grass recovering from his own incident, and we got going, but the impact had damaged my car to the point where a few laps later, annoyed with how it was driving, I retired from the race.

Fin Sta Driver Interval Led Fast Lap
1 1 Joern Hoormann 25 laps 25 1:24.107
2 2 Carsten Dyndegaard +4.632 0 1:24.356
3 5 Neville Britton +19.208 0 1:24.577
4 4 Christian Baxmann +20.819 0 1:24.646
5 9 Simon Hill +42.955 0 1:25.135
12 11 Timothy Wheatley DNF 0 1:26.878

I’m pretty sure if it had been a different day I would have carried on and finished the race. I just didn’t feel like it today. This rounds out the inaugural season of the Simautosport BTCC Cup. I finished 9th in the championship.

Official race report at Simautosport.com.

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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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