Best race of the season for me, even if it was another 10th place finish!
I did some practice on primes, and got a 1:38s lap in, which was about 3.5s off the pace. I was a bit annoyed as had a second in hand on the options but then made a mistake and my lap was aborted, reckon I would have got a mid 1:37s lap, and around 8th / 9th on the grid, rather than 11th where I ended up.
Got loads of wheel spin at the start, which was a bit odd, but I put it down to using my pad rather than wheel / pedals this week (given my form, this may be something I continue!!!)
I was cautious at the first corner, which has worked well so far this season for me, as I’ve avoided the carnage and picked up places inn the starts. However, this time it didn’t work out. First I got collected as part of @MadDogMolloy‘s first corner problems. All of that gave me a penalty for nothing, which was annoying.
I broke at my normal place for turn 4 (or is it 3) an @MadDogMolloy in front of me in 9th broke much earlier than I expected and I hit him in the rear – so I apologise for that. Again I got a penalty for this, and I thought it a little harsh, but certainly not in the same way the first one was!
After that first lap drama I found myself back where I started, in 11th place. I picked up a few places due to further dramas in the opening few laps and briefly ran in 8th place, and was pleased to see that my race pace was averaging only 3 to 5 seconds off of the fastest lap times being posted by the Mclarens – a vast improvement on the first 2 races.
I was driving consistently, making a few minor mistakes, but no major offs, and reasonably consistent lap times, meaning that I was keeping the newbies behind me, and able to fight with @DarrenArcher throughout the race.
I had some fun with my team mate as he recovered through the field and we got some trademark Ferrari drafting action going as he passed me down the main straight with DRS – although the top speed wasn’t drastic so I played the gentleman and lifted a touch early to let him pass without incident.
I managed to stretch my first (and only) stop to the end of Lap 12 and came out in 10th place. After a few laps Daz Archer came out ahead of me, by a few seconds and I caught him up as he was struggling with cold primes.
I got passed him when he made a mistake, and then he rammed me in the backside into corner 3, in a similar move to the one I got a penalty for against @MadDogMolloy, but evidently didn’t get a penalty for him. His pace was marginally better than me and he pulled out 5 seconds with a few llaps to go. However, he made a few mistakes, and was seemingly struggling with tyres, which made the last 2 laps really exciting as I was catching him up but not quite close enough. I knew in the back of my mind I had 20 seconds to be added to my time anyway.
All in all a great race for me, only lapped once and not until after Lap 20, and much closer to the pace meaning I could actually race people throughout the race! Maybe using my controller is the way forward!!
Looking forward to the race next week now! Good fun lads, hope the sprint races were good….