It was dry and brighter for the second race of the weekend, with Hart setting the pace from the start for 2RentDominos, from Raw’s Paul Rivett, GCI, DespatchBay.com’s Riley Phillips, Trumans Hoad and Viking’s Holme.
DespatchBay.com were first on the move, working their way up to the front by lap six, with Trumans following. But as it became a three way battle for 3rd with 2Rent Dominos, Rivett and GT Radials Gies came back into contention.
But on lap 12, Hart was off, “I had a problem as the paddleshift had virtually dropped off, then I had a straight on and picked up some damage,” he explained.
For the next few laps it was a constant exchange between Phillips and Hoad, with Rivett and Gies still in touch. At the end of the first hour though, less than a second covered the top four, with GT Radial heading FNS, Apollo and Viking, with RAW and DespatchBay.com having slipped down the order during the stops.
FNS took charge as the second hour started and led for five laps, before Hadley took over for GT Radial. But race one winners Axiamatrics were back in contention too, as were JPR UVio after their race one problems. “We were down on power but it was ok in the tow,” said Randaccio.
UVio and Viking began to share the lead, but it was still wide open, as Apollo and Trumans duelled for third, but there were still 14 cars on the lead lap.
The Apollo trio of Guy and Zoe Wenham, with Ryan Burke, pitted again on lap 39, quickly followed by Trumans, Viking and FNS. But DespatchBay.com had gained during the stops and they lead to the start of the final hour. This is all about who doubled fueled when or double fueled so you really don't know where people are until the last stint, not fully anyway. But we were right there leading the race. However, about 10 minutes into my stint the exhaust blew again, I couldn't believe. We had a chat about it last time and I knew to just stay out until I got flagged. I could just hear Pier's on the radio and he confirm stay out. It was noisy!! But i was catching the front pack by nearly a second a lap.
After the penultimate window Apollo led the way, but were then usurped by Axiametrics and Viking. They managed to jump us in the stops,” said Viking’s Holme.
The battle was on to the finish, but there was still another stop still to be made, Axiametrcis were in front, as Viking and Apollo traded for second and third, with DespatchBay.com and GT Radial looking on.
DespatchBay.com were in trouble though, “just after Andy had handed to me for the last stint, the exhaust blew and eventually was either resting on the shifter or over heating it and I couldn't shift up so had to come in and it took six minutes to repair,”
Axiametrics pitted from the lead, with Holme following them in, but as they rejoined, Nunn, had the advantage for Viking. “When Nick rejoined with the lead he was very determined and we have waited five years for this. The car was great, the strategy and fuel stops had us just where we needed to be, but it was a real fight with Guy Wenham at the end,” said Holme after the conquering Vikings claimed that elusive maiden victory.
For Apollo it was a reward for almost a year of misfortune, second place and only 0.262 secs from victory, a super send off for Ryan and Zoe, as she raced under the Wenham name for the last time.
JPR GT Radial completed the podium. “We gave it everything and fought like lions to get that first win, but small pit issues cost us,” said Gies. “We led for so long, but learned a lot ready for Anglesey,” Hadley added.
There was no repeat for Axiametrics, however, “Viking had jumped us at the last stop, but we were still in there until the clutch went and Chris (Weatherill) stopped on the start and finish straight,” said Rose.
So FNS got yet nearer to their first podium with a solid and hard fought fourth, while a second half charge from Team 7 Fun: Bikes rewarded Jon King, plus Ed and Chris Bridle with fifth.
GCI’s Craig Butterworth/Ian Wood had been strong runners all weekend and finished seventh, while 2Rent Dominos Hart and Neil Burroughs finished eighth. Agua Caliente and Track Life’s Gary Bate/Simon Smith completed the top 10.
And that is racing one day you are up and have a shot at the championship the next day we get a kicking... It's brutal, I am gutted for everyone.
I think I just focus on the second, as you can see it doesn't get any closer than that... Anglesey 8 hours next, will the exhaust stay on ???
Two radio interviews this week and then fly out to Zandvoort for round 4 on what will be an F1 track next year, so it was pretty exciting.
Practice was good and I made some good progress getting the lines the corrected for the funcup. Harry was super quick and I was off his pace, but it was all fine for the first practice session at a strange track.
We did qualification later on Friday instead of on Saturday which was a change. There was also a change in the weather as it rained and rained. I was happy in the wet and had mega times compared to every else, like 3 seconds a lap faster for the first 15 minutes or so. The track was ever changing with a strong wind one minute drying the track the next bring more rain. Harry managed to stick us fastest in qualie, but as you know we all get a random draw anyway. We drew 6th for round 4 and 8th for round 5.
We had a tactical discussion on who goes where and I ended up starting for both rounds and having the second to last stint to then hand over to Harry to take the last charge to the line.
Round 4 Saturday and the track dried which was a shame as I thought my wet times were more competitive than my dry. I think I just needed to let the data analysis Harry went through settle in as I was lite for the start and went to the front pretty quickly handing over a lead to Andy, which he held through his stint. We did a fuel and lost a few places and Harry had to work his way back and had an amazing fight to finish the closest ever Funcup race in second. I was happy with that it was good championship points and we needed the car in one piece for the round 5 on Sunday!
Look I'm Jenson Button!! Have a listen to the interview I did with Sam Hall of Downforce Radio for a bit of my history.... did someone say "Expelled"?