Croft was going to be a tall order. Like most of the tracks, I had never been to the track, so no change there! However, I had AS level Physics exam on Friday so would miss practice day. The team did put together an opportunity to do a practice the week before, but I had 2 problems with that. 1) Not enough money to do additional practice. 2) I was supposed to be revising for my AS levels and I had BSKC as a distraction anyway. (More on that later). I did a bunch of laps on the simulator in the MX-5 which is about as close as I can get to a funcup car, so I at least know which way the track goes!
On arriving after a 5 hour journey to Croft it was wet although I had qualifying to try and get to grips with the track this was the first time in the wet with a car, so I got in about 12 laps in Qualie.
Coming around to my stint I was super nervous, the car was up there with the front runners so I had to be on the pace! Harry had started and took the car from the back to the front with an amazing first stint. We drop a few places before I got in. It's amazing how focused you can get and I was on the pace. Unfortunately we had an issue with the exhaust coming apart and fixing it mid race is hard. We lost a lap and in my next session I was climbed back through the front runners and was just about to unlap the car when it came off again. Through great team work we still managed 11th, but not the race result we wanted. I had great fun in the wet and showed I have great pace in the wet in a car as well as a kart. Can I call that a trade mark now??
We made the 5 hours to Croft in time for a track walk and a quick look at some data. Sorted for race day then!
Qualie would be my chance before the race to try and acclimatise to the track. Did I mention is was raining?? Cuts slicks on an unfamiliar freshly resurfaced track aren't the most predictable things especially when you have never driven a car in the wet before. 20 minutes later I was back in the pits, was it 12 laps or 14.. no idea. Not enough for sure.
Come my first stint I was truly nervous. Once I was in the car I settled down. Harry had taken us from the back of the grid to the front. Andy had a bit of fight on and took a piece of the splitter off. But the main problem that happened was the exhaust decided to part company. That dumped us 2 laps down. I my final stint I had got back to the leader and was about to unlap ourselves when the exhaust broke again. Its a pity we could have over come once but that finished a decent finish. In the end we got 11th not bad considering.
A success for me:-
Wet race Tick
Click the button to go to Motors TV for round 2
Just to prove that I did get to the front on my stint as well, below is some (Bad) footage of me making it to the front. The Commentator was about the only one who wasn't surprised. Have a listen....