This race ranks pretty high on the best races I have ever driven. It was also one of the most fun.
I ran a qualifying session prior to the race, setting a 1:22.786 which allowed me to start in seventh-place in a race where I carried the number nine on my car (meaning I was the ninth best driver in the race according to iRating).
I got a good start and held seventh-place from then until lap three, but those first laps were intense! There was a large field of 14 and honestly I expected to be hit in the back in turn one, but no, every car got through cleanly!
So, starting lap three I managed to lose a position to a faster car, giving up seventh-place. One lap later I managed to make a pass on Neil Scheibelhut into the final turn, I crossed the line in sixth but lost the position again in turn one.
On lap five I had closed in on Scheibelhut ahead of me. We ran fairly closely until turn three when Scheibelhut spun off, joining Dave St.Onge and R. Montalban who had already spun, allowing me to gain fourth-place by the end of the lap.
I lapped as cleanly and consistently as I could with cars lining up behind me. Many times I expected either Morten Smidt or Anthony Larson who battled hard behind me to make a mistake and take me out. Thankfully though, they were superbly clean!
I came close to losing fourth-place on lap eight after I ran wide, but luckily the cars behind were busy fighting amongst themselves. On lap ten this worked out to my favor and as a car behind almost spun I gained just enough space to feel comfortable.
On lap 12 I moved into third-place after the race leader crashed in turn three.
By lap 15 Smidt was right on my tail and seemed a little faster, especially braking into turn one. We hadn’t been more than a few car lengths apart since the start of the race, but he seemed to be finding speed which I could not.
Starting lap 16 I was pushing hard to stay ahead, I braked a tiny bit late for turn one and Smidt finally managed to get alongside, passing me into turn two. Unfortunately for him, he then ran wide, I managed to sneak back past as he ploughed through the sand trap.
Things went my way for the rest if the race. I think Morten Smidt was still faster but he always caught backmarkers in the worst places and this just gave me the space to hold third-place for the finish.
I had one incident from going wide in turn two on lap 20. My fastest lap was a 1:22.347 on lap 12.