Today’s Manufactures Cup race took place at the Nurburgring GP circuit and I was looking to run very well here as it is a track I know very well from my early F1 days
I felt like I had some good pace around here in the practice session, putting in a lot of laps before entering the lobby. But as always, trying to find space on the track for a good qualifying run was my downfall. I was compromised on the exit of my first lap when the 2 cars in-front of me had a moment out of the final corner, despite trying to find myself some space down the back straight. The second lap was ruined by the Spaniard that was battling me for track position, who ultimately rammed me from behind and my final lap I had a slow car in front was battling me like it was for the the WDC. SO all in all I had to settle for 9th on the grid.
I was always concerned going into the race, as I was starting behind the fiery Spaniard from qualifying, but I think I kept my calm in the opening exchanges and was even making ground on the leader for a start, chipping away at the delta to P1. It all started going wrong when I foolishly tried to defend around the hairpin on lap 4 which handed me a 4 second penalty. After that I felt like I was in battles and couldn’t really show my true pace, although the racing was fun. I was undecided whether to pit or not at the end of lap 6, as I had the fuel to carry on and the tires weren’t to bad, but I pitted and made 2 vital mistakes. Firstly, I hit the wall on the pit entry and secondly I thought there were only 4 laps of the race left so I under fueled the car by one lap.
Once the race resumed for me, I was In a pretty nice battle with the cars around me and even made a daring lunge up the inside into the hairpin, which ultimately paid off for me as I managed to build a gap and get on the pace, setting the Fastest lap on lap 8, although this was later beaten, it re-enforced to me that I did have pace around this circuit. By lap 10 I was kind of cruising, not making in roads to the group ahead, but slowly pulling away from the car behind. Just as I was starting to make ground on the 2 in front, the message of DOOM appeared to tell me I’d under fueled the car and only had 0.8 left with over a lap still to run, so it was straight down to lean with plenty of lifting and costing. I think the car infront was also suffering from a lack of fuel as they dropped of and I was able to take 8th. The last few corners were very nervous for me. I conceded the place to the fast car behind but then also totally misjudged my braking into the final chicane to hand me 1 final penalty in the race. I didn’t manage to get rid of it all before the line, but I did managed to hold onto 9th place.
Nothing Gained, but nothing lost either.
Points to take into the next race
- Be better at mid-race Maths to avoid having to back off on the final lap
- Think more carefully about moves on slow corners
Next Race: Round 3: 13 March, 2018 (Tuesday) – Gr.3 / Dragon Trail – Seaside