After qualifying on Tuesday with a 56.520 I knew I’d have my work cut out to have a win at this track as it seemed that everyone with a rating lower than mine, was faster – what was I doing wrong?
I decided to remain as happy as I could with my time as I knew I’d still get a decent race because of the iRating system – and how right I was – today’s race was awesome!
I got a decent start from my 4th-place starting position, even gaining a position before running off-track and having a long, lazy spin while exiting a turn on lap two and battling hard for 3rd place with the man behind. By the end of the lap I would be crossing the line in 7th-place and behind a group of closely-matched cars who were battling hard.
On lap three I managed to gain a position back and moved into 6th after the man I’d been racing with for 3rd off the start had also spun – and couldn’t get going due to the traffic going by.
I now found myself behind two of the cleanest and most annoyingly-consistent drivers I’ve ever had the absolute pleasure of racing against. They were nose to tail, battling hard, and I couldn’t wait to catch them and get in on the action.
It took two laps, but by the end of lap six I was right on the gearbox of the man in 5th-place and anxious to get past before I lost too much time to the man in 4th. By lap nine I had grabbed 5th in quite an opportunistic move after an error was made and I now truly believed that a podium wasn’t out of the question – but oh boy was I wrong – I was about to embark on one of the greatest two-car battles I’ve ever had.
I was immediately on the gearbox of the 4th-place driver and began to try to gauge where I might be fast enough to make a pass – I quickly found out that it wasn’t going to be easy! Everywhere I was faster, it wasn’t possible to pass, everywhere he was faster, I wasn’t fast enough! We were so evenly matched that I was held behind him – with a gap no larger than 0.3s between my nose and his gearbox – for the next thirteen laps!
When I eventually managed to make a pass (due to an error large enough for me to find a way by), I was hounded by him for two laps before he spun and gave me some room to breathe. I was now clear and able to run to the end of the race without any pressure.
I set my fastest lap, a 56.092, on lap twenty-four.
I had two incidents during the race:
I spun on lap two, dropping from 3rd to 7th-place.
I ran off the circuit on lap twenty-eight after a minor loss in concentration, it didn’t cost me much time.