This weekend certainly could have gone better, but I had a lot of fun anyway.
starting off on friday testing
We spent the morning sessions dialing in the engine again, to ensure we were getting the maximum out of it and before luch it seemed like all of the problems were finally gone and I was ready to start pushing the car, but a visit from some rainclouds ensured that the rest of the day was spent practising for the Irish Drift Championship rather than the Leinster trophy! Fun, surely! But not exactly practical to practise for a dry race day.
Despite this I felt ready to take on Qualifying on Sunday morning and extract the most I possibly could from the car.
Sunday morning… quali hour
I was up early and ready to dive head first into a 15 minute qualifying session around the 3.6km Mondello Park International layout, but as soon as I left the pits there seemed to be a problem straight away that the throttle was sticking. I made my way around turn 1 and immediately had to pull in and stop the car without setting a lap time which gave me a nice starting position of P22 in both races. Delightful.
Starting from the back, I knew it would be a difficult race, but I set out to at least have some fun while I was at it, which I did. Getting involved with battles of 4 and 5 cars and getting some great experience with my racecraft. The race was red flagged after an incident not long after starting and with the 2 lap countback it was called after only 6 minutes of running so I have no idea who I was even in the mix with at that point.
Unfortunately my onboard camera hadn’t turned on so I can’t bring any onboard video for the race.
race 2 – excitement at last!
Again starting in P-LAST i knew it wouldve been a difficult race but right off the line I was getting involved and battling with other drivers. A few laps in and I found myself locked in a close battle with Graham Carroll and Oliver Devlin.
It was nose to tail between the three of us with me in the middle for the first few laps before Oliver dropped off after a lock-up into the final corner leaving myself and Graham to battle it out for the whole rest of the race.
We were chopping and changing, swapping positions multiple times throughout the lap and I thought I had hatched up just the plan to get by once and for all, but as I was about to try it the chequered flag fell leaving less than half a second between us at the line. Almost 30km of racing and only 0.4s between us at the end, that was exciting.
You can watch the full race video below, but I will be making a shortened video with some of the more exciting parts later on.
final thoughts –
That was in interesting weekend for sure, it was nice to get a really close battle for the whole race and was definitely a very beneficial experience. Kirkistown in 2 weeks time and with a new heart getting put into the car for this race I’m very excited to see what I can do without the typical engine woes I’ve been having all year.
Bring it on!