At least second was mine until I suffered some horrid luck.
Got an average start, but those behind me got a better one. Someone, however, got too good a start and must have been so excited about it that they forgot to brake for the forthcoming corner lol. I deliberately ran wide as I watched a few three-wide battles form going towards turn one, but I got a nasty bump from a driver a few positions back. The game wisely believed I was at fault for being hit off, so I got a 10 second penalty.
The situation was not as bad as turn three in Australia last week, where I spun completely and rejoined near the back, but I had lost a few positions and was down in sixth. It was only the start of a miserable race for me unfortunately.
Again, like last week, I qualified on the primes in the hope that the rain would arrive later on in the race and I would theoretically save myself a pit stop. Again, like last week, I was wrong. The rain was perfectly timed for everyone on the options, meaning the early laps I spent making my way up through the field on slower tyres were not optimised.
Noticing the change from dry to inters weather can be tricky, but when time to swap tyres does arrive, the grip conveniently drops in an instant. I was fortunate that it did that as I rounded the final corner, so I dived in the pits and benefitted from immaculate timing to pip @ms20 into second.
Unfortunately, with assists on anyway, noticing the change from inters to full wets is much harder. By the time the car is sliding around, full wets have probably been the ideal tyre for at least a lap. I wasn’t so lucky in getting this bit right. I think I had already had a few wobbly moments, notably giving a small tap to someone I was lapping (enough, however, for the game to double my penalty) but the worst came when I entered the pits for wets.
I didn’t read the tyre buttons properly on the D-Pad, and so randomly pressed the bottom button for the bottom option. Codies don’t have that much common sense, so the bottom option (wets) is as you all know triggered by the left button instead. As a result I came out with inters on a soaked circuit. Any chance of a win was gone there and then.
I eventually crawled back to the pits to put the correct tyres on… “the rain is expected to improve in the next few minutes”. Sigh.
The blue skies held off for a bit so I could justify making the switch to full wets for a bit, before it was time to return to inters once more – and time for the all-new localised weather feature to take the piss.
Now when Codies announced the introduction of the new weather system, I was chuffed. But in the back of my mind I envisaged moments similar to the final part of tonight’s race, when one part of the circuit was in the middle of a monsoon, and another like a July summer’s afternoon in Kenya. These ‘parts’ of the circuit were about 100metres apart.
I had no consistency, no pace, and seemingly no hope of a podium. But then I got up to third somehow (can’t remember), and then I closed in on and passed @PowderFinger on the last lap. The comical penalty system had the last laugh as I was demoted back to third, when realistically I had a decent shout of a win.
The biggest positive I can take from today would be that I don’t have to drive on that garbage circuit for at least five months (excluding career of course lol).
Good race all.