The Main Race: It rained a couple of times during
the morning then began to clear. By lunchtime the sun had
come out - it was going to be a dry race. As 22 cars lined
up on the grid the sun shone and the track had dried.
When the lights turned to green we all hammered down the
pit straight into the left hander up the hill to Charlies
then on around to Park straight leading to the long right
hander Park and Chris curve before the Goose Neck.
As usual on the first lap there was a tight pack up front.
There was the usual door handling. As we all came up to Chris
Curve I saw a couple of cars come together and go off. From
where I was I had a choice of stand on the brakes and try
to avoid everyone on front of me or go for the inside line
and try to go around the mayhem.
I opted for the latter in the hope that I could sneak through
on the inside safely. I almost made it when a car I was overtaking
got tapped up the back and spun in my direction. I jinked
right onto the grass to avoid him but not far enough away.
My front wing and wheel was caught by his rear wheel.
Forward momentum threw me across the grass. As I bobbed and
bucked my way across the by now dry grass of the infield I
wondered quite where I was going to end up. To my surprise
I managed to keep going and regain the track. I cringed in
the hope that no-one was too close to me as I snaked across
the track to the other side before regaining control of the
car. Phew I made it!
Engine seemed fine, steering was okay but not brilliant.
I kept going on to the Gooseneck, down the hill to Mansfield
and then on to The Mountain, through the woods and onto Barn
the right hander before the pit straight.
I called in at the pits to let my crew take a look at the
damage. By this time the red mist had come down and I was
rarin to go - it had not been a great weekend. Darren and
Steve checked around the car and pulled off some torn and
hanging bits of body work. There appeared to be no oil leaks
despite there being a fair bit of damage. And so out I went
- a lap down but eager to make up some places.
I spent the remaining 7 laps swopping places with a few drivers.
On the final lap with Andrew Ruthven closing behind me I was
trying hard to get past Naomi Anstiss. Although slower than
me she was doing an excellent job of blocking my way past.
As we all went into the hairpin I held back a bit in the
hope that Naomi would give me a clear chance of turning in
tight and getting past her. As I slowed Andrew came up my
inside and attempted to go around the hairpin beside Naomi.
In so doing he leaned on Naomi literally and as the two cars
rubbed bodywork I took my chance up the inside and got past
them both. I then had a clear run up to the chequered flag.
I finished in 13th place and had managed a best lap time
of 1 min 21.9 secs.
Back in the Paddock it was time to survey the damage - from
bent sub-frame to a badly damaged wheel rim plus all the body
this was definitely not one of my better race
weekends. But that's racing