What can you do! I have a weekend where I finish 2nd in both my races but still end up losing out valuable points to both Jack and Will! I didn’t make any major errors all weekend but that seems to be par for the course in this years Roadsport championship. Not only can you not make errors, but you also have to be right on your game all the time, or you’re nowhere.
I am endlessly proud that I can even keep up with the guys and girls on the grid, let alone compete right at the pointy end. I’m far too close to the whole thing to really offer an unbiased opinion but I strongly believe that history will eventually show just how fast the young guns at the front of this grid are when they ultimately go on to even bigger and better things.
Rockingham is unusual for Caterhams, in that the tow is pretty irrelevant for 3/4 of the lap. It’s therefore harder to make up ground.
In the car, I was very pleased with my qualifying effort. A couple of missed lap opportunities, but I improved on testing times by 0.7s. However, this left me down in 6th. However, there were only a few 10ths between 2nd and 6th and the split grid over the weekend would mean I’d start 3rd for my first race.
Race 1 was exceptionally hot. I lost a place to Max off the line and by the time I’d managed to get back passed, Dan and Henry had a gap. Rockingham is unusual for Caterhams, in that the tow is pretty irrelevant for 3/4 of the lap. It’s therefore harder to make up ground. For the first half of the race, I treated the tyres gently – trying not to spin up the rears or scrub the fronts too much. At the half-way point, I started to push hard and managed to reel in Dan bit by bit. With 2 laps to go, I was able to get past and then drew out just enough to protect the place.
I was really happy that I’d got the most out of the car and myself. My lap times were consistently within a few 10ths of my quali times.
I could see that Jack was down in 5th at that point, so I tried to make a break. However, it was never going to last.
Race 2 put me up against Jack. A soaking track 30 mins before the race started saw me make a bad tyre choice. I was on wet tyres and the track was almost completely dry by the time the race started. I finally made a good start off the line and held first all the way down to turn 1. However, a mega move by James around the outside of the first hairpin meant I was in second for the first lap. Into lap 2, I had a run out of Yentop and managed to sneak the lead through Chapmans. It’s not a normal overtaking place but a slight mistake by James gave me just enough momentum to pull it off.
I could see that Jack was down in 5th at that point, so I tried to make a break. However, it was never going to last. Jack’s pace was around 1 second faster than me during the race and it didn’t take long for him to cut through the field and pass me for the lead. I tried everything to keep up and felt I was getting a lot out of the car but I just couldn’t hold on and had to watch as he disappeared up the road.
I have to say that a clear 2nd is a great result, but I feel disappointed that I wasn’t able to compete in that race. The tyres didn’t help, but I certainly don’t think they were the whole difference in pace. Jack dealt with the damp areas better, so there’s more to learn there.
Time to re-focus and get ready for more great racing in a few weeks time at Brands Hatch. I really hope that we don’t have another split grid there. We’ve already proved that we love a good close battle and chopping the grid in half meant that we didn’t get that full fun factor.
Rockingham will see the official half way point of the season. Due to the sheer numbers of Roadsport cars in action, we’re running a split grid format. We will all qualify together, but then we will be split into groups. That means we don’t actually know what time we’ll be racing!
Here are all the Roadsport race / quali times:
Quali: Sat 12th July, 10:00 – 10:20
Race A: Sat 12th July, 13:15 – 13:35
Race B: Sat 12th July, 14:25 – 14:45
Race C: Sun 13th July, 11:30 – 11:50
Race D: Sun 13th July, 13:35 – 13:55
You can follow along with Live Timing from TSL Timing (search for Roadsport on the homepage and you should be presented with a Live Timing Link.)
You can also follow along with live commentary through the weekend from Downforce Radio. They will be offering up live commentary, driver interviews etc throughout the whole weekend and really are worth a listen in!
Fingers crossed, my race goes a little better at Rockingham this time. In the Academy, it only lasted one corner!