SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK
There was so much wheel to wheel racing this weekend! Strong competition brought with it a great opportunity to work on my race craft.
This weekend was also an opportunity to gather some new and very exciting data. Wireless Motorsport set up their fantastic Biometric data recorder with the dash so we could see heart rate and temperature information at any given point on the track and identify any trends.
Friday practice started off with a bang as all the prep work came to fruition. In my first session out I was consistently faster than I have ever been before around the 3.93km circuit.
Qualifying was very close - I grabbed Pole by five hundredths of a second (0.0534 seconds)!!
Race 1 - 11 Laps
I built up a small gap early on leading Hodges and Lowing (Class H) but by the fourth lap they had reduced that gap and Lowing used the slip stream down the straight to get by. We were both leading our classes but racing is racing. We swapped positions numerous times throughout the remainder of the race with Hodges right behind looking for an opportunity. I even discovered some new track when I was squeezed towards the pit wall in a move that reminded me a little of Schumacher v Barrichello in Hungary 2010. When we crossed the finish line I had a lead of 0.07 seconds a great indication of just how close the racing was.
Race 2 - 11 Laps
This race was quiet compared to the first one. I remained in the lead with a good launch and Lowing and I pulled a gap on the rest of the field. This time I was able to stay in front from start to finish where we crossed the line with less than a tenth of second seperating us again.
Race 3 - 11 Laps
Lowing was able to get the jump at the start this time and I was forced to slot behind, still leading my class. Mid race I was close enough to make a move on the inside down the straight but wasn't able to make it stick till the following lap where the move was successful. A couple of laps later I ran a little wide in the second last corner and was forced to slow a little to remain on the track. As we approached the apex of the last corner Lowing made contact with me and unfortunately caused some damage to the rear of the car. I had to back off and let him through in Turn 1 while I assessed how the rear was going to hold up. As I continued round the circuit a little off the pace second placed Hodges was able to close in and take the lead from me. The fight was on for victory in the Trophy Race now. We raced wheel to wheel from then on, a move up the inside of the hairpin paid off and I retook the lead. We crossed the finish line side by side, no celebrations as nobody knew the result and we had to wait for the official time sheets. The verdict - 0.0124 seconds between us!!! It doesn't get much closer than that!!
Pole, three wins and two fastest laps gave me an almost perfect point score for this weekend! I learnt a great deal from Round 4 and I'm sure I'll remeber the close racing for a long time to come.
To see the photos from this weekend click here.