Sunday, October 19, 2008

Zwartkops - 11/10/2008 - Round 9

The penultimate round of the Pro Tour was held at Zwartkops, coming from a very eventful and successful Phakisa race. I was hoping for a similar performance, and it certainly looked very close at the top of the field during the practice sessions. I was trying yet again to find a way around the understeer, and could just about come up with a decent setup, although I lost a lot of time in the slow corners.

After qualifying 5th, only 0.1sec behind P2, it was definitely going to be a tight race. The 1st heat was very eventful, and I found myself in 3rd position most of the race behind my teammate, and fending off the challenges from behind from other drivers. The entire race was packed with incidents, and there were yellow flags on just about every lap. On about lap 8 of 12, the safety car was deployed, but the boards were not made immediately visible to the drivers. Most of the front running pack did not see anything, and I was one of them. My teammate must have seen the SC board late, and braked really hard. Unfortunately I was directly behind him at this point, with no chance of avoiding an accident. This unlucky moment ended up with both development drivers out the race, after running in potential podium positions all race!

Both cars were repaired for the 2nd heat, and we had to start from the back of the grid. It was fun getting through the pack as fast as possible, but I was caught up with a very aggressive midfield battle which took too long to clear. I ended up coming out in 6th position, with 5th place too far up the road to catch in the remaining laps.

I’m definitely happy with the improvement of performance over the last few races, although this particular race ended up with a very unfortunate incident. The last round should be quite a nice challenge at Kyalami, with the top 5 drivers being extremely competitive! I’m looking forward to it.

Friday, October 3, 2008