The 6th round of the Pro Tour was held at the extremely fast East London GP circuit, and it is great fun in a Vee! I had reasonable success last year, and was looking forward to this race after some modifications were done to improve my handling. After a couple of practice sessions however, I was struggling with the balance in the infield section, and eventually had to settle for a car that gave some nasty snap oversteer out of corners. We were trying several settings with the engine and carburetors to get it to perform like the front runners, but I still struggled a little bit.
Qualifying went okay, as I was working with my teammate to get a good slipstream down the straight. However, we never took full advantage of this through the rest of the lap, and my laptime did not turn out that great. Starting from 8th, the first race was really a great battle. I was in a pack of 4, and it was tight racing. I was trying my hardest to stay fast through the infield somehow without spinning, and it was an interesting and strategic race. I missed the final lap board, and therefore was not aggressive enough to attack for 5th place, which left me in only 8th after all that work.
The 2nd race was less exciting, but I was more comfortable with the car. I was again involved in a 4-car fight, except I lost the slipstream crucially when the speed rocket of Johan Gouws’ car pulled Symm Grobler and Peter Hills away from me when I couldn’t take advantage in the infield again. It took a lot of laps and hard work to haul them back in without slipstream, and I finally got back in the mix on the final lap. Every corner was quite an aggressive fight, and I managed to at least recover one position to 8th.
My final results for the weekend were the worst of my 2008 season, and that is really disappointing, even though it is always great fun to be at that speed and in a massive on-track fight. I’m looking forward, though, to sorting out my car setup and having a strong engine for the other high speed track of Kyalami. Will need to make a plan about my ruined tyre thanks to a puncture, however.....