Monday, 10 July 2017

Donington Park GP - Round Four - 2nd Place

Round four of this years' Caterham Academy championship was at Donington Park GP circuit, which is certainly one of my favourites...

...I arrived on Wednesday night, setup 'camp' for the next few days and got ready for two days testing, and then 'a bit' of hanging around.  Testing was great (especially the Thursday), having set some good times which I was very happy with.  Friday was a bit more 'red flaggy' so I couldn't really get into a good rhythm in any of the sessions.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda
Shoulda, woulda, coulda
Qualifying was on Saturday evening (18:30!) so there was a fair bit of hanging around from Friday afternoon, but I again found myself at the back of the pack, so tried my best which (again) was only good enough for 4th place on the grid, as the advantage from a tow is quite large here (which I didn't get).

With qualifying over - Caterham hosted a paddock party, with a band, free booze and food, (as it was their 60th anniversary) and that was a really good night - I was 'careful' not to get too wasted, but still had a great time.

Onto the race... I got a great start, and before I knew it I was into first place...  I held onto the lead from an eager Toby Clowes practically the entire race... I tried to gap him, but with a tow he could keep reeling me back in on the straights.  The final lap board came out, and there was a bit of a margin, and although I thought I had enough in the bag, I managed to get my only 'tank slapper' (of the whole weekend) into the Esses, lost some momentum and Toby got a decent drive out and then defending my position into the Melbourne Loop I outbraked myself and Toby got through!  arrrgghhh what a c0ck up, and then to make matters worse I shifted from second into first (rather than third) so that was that.  

Here's the onboard video (sorry about the default VBOX scene as there is a problem with my custom scene since I upgraded the firmware on the VBOX):-

Second is good for the Championship (which I'm still leading at present) and I won't make a mistake like that again - I'll come back with that lesson learnt and will come back fighting (as always) at Snetterton in four weeks time.

The race and qualifying are likely to be on the Saturday morning (5th August), but the timetable is still 'TBC' at this stage.

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