That was an evening and a half for sure... Pre-event and Event Practice:
During the week coming up to the event I again had a bit of lack of time to practice but I still had an idea of what I wanted from the car and how it ought to behave.
While I wasn't quite able to get it to work I had the luck that our Setup Guru was at hand when I was practicing during Monday evening and he sent me a base to work with.
It had a bit too much understeer in it so I started tweaking it and got it to work very well indeed, even beating David and Grant on the hot-lap pages, I believe that's the first time I've ever been atop any of the hotlap pages here at HSO, it only took me seven-odd years.
So overall, I was feeling fairly confident coming in. My Race pace is often decent and I had good pace in Qualifying so a good starting position around this difficult-to-pass-on track was very much a possability. Qualifying 1:
Qualifying 1 got underway and I was immediately on some semblence of pace, getting into the 47's on my first lap out of the pace and then blasted in a PB of 1.47,43x a few laps later and decided to park the car and see what others could do. I was also aware that no-one else apart from David Jaques had been into the 47,4's before so pole position looked set.
So it was as well, I had the fortune of picking up pole which was a great morale booster as I usually struggle in qually. Race 1:
Race 1 started well for me. I was able to outstart Grant (I suspect you bogged down?) and was first and, more or less, able to head into Paddock Hill Bend any way I felt would be best.
After Druids I had a slight gap to the guys behind and then Grant ran into further trouble in Paddock Hill on Lap2 from what I was told on TS.
From there on I was able to go at my own pace, bar a couple of lapped cars that I decided to take a bit of care around, this track certainly isn't a place to lap nor be lapped at.
Peter and Petr kept on battling and even after Peter ended up alone in his Peugeot for a little while, I was still able to gap him by a couple of tenths each lap, and so could hold on to a, in the end, dominant(?) win, about 7 seconds ahead of Petr (great drive mate) for a Volvo 1-2, TWR Volvo (Evil Rulebenders IRL) strikes back against the Evil Empire Qualifying 2:
The 2nd Qualifying session was something else.
I was again able to blast into the 47,4's fairly early on and sat in the pits looking at, especially, Petr in the Kelvin Burt Volvo and Grant in the Biela Audi and when I saw that Grant was about to beat the time I jumped back in to go out on track and to my amazement Richard Wilks in the Honda pulled a lap out of his wizards hat to get ahead as well.
So half a tenth to get back on Richard and just over 1 tenths to get back to pole ahead of Grant.
It wasn't easy though it may have looked easy, blasted into Druids like a mad-man and was able to get a perfect run through Graham Hill Bend which lead to me improving by just under 2 tenths to end up 6 hundreds ahead of Grant on a 47,2; in other words, another PB for me during the evening. Race 2:
Race 2 started with wheel spin for me, a bit too much wheel spin and Grant didn't take long to blast past into the lead.
What then followed was a hard, gritty fight between Grant, myself and Petr, who also wanted a piece of the action.
Sorry Grant for a couple of the dives into Druids, especially the first one, that was way too optimistic on my part to think I'd be able to stop in time.
But battled on we did, until lap 11 when the passes started, they were concluded on Lap 13...
I went for the dive after a good run through Paddock but Grant was able to get the run off Druids despite being on the outside and was able to keep alongside me through Graham Hill and onto Cooper Straight. He then gave me the room by slotting in behind for Surtees but I made a misstake braking for Clark Curve and Grant got me back. I then had the run onto the straight and had a small look into Paddock and didn't make it happen but then had another dive up at Druids where Grant, this time, went for the cut-back and took the position back again. I had a hard time against Petr but thankfully he let me have the line at Surtees again.
Now it was a question of catching Grant and he made a slight mistake at Clark and I was able to get to have a look at Paddock again and Grant defended. He ended up slightly on the cerb but was able to hold the inside so I went for the outside run and went around the outside, all the while Petr looked up the inside
Incredibly my try around the outside worked (thanks for leaving me enough room out there on the exit as well) and I then had the inside for Graham Hill, braked early and took the position although Grant could have had a look at Surtees but thought better of it and I was able to gap him from there.
Having slightly flatspotted the tires it was all a question of driving within the car and keeping a strong enough pace as to not let Petr get close enough to have a dive.
Thankfully that tactic worked out well and I was able to take the win in Race2 as well, this time by just under two seconds
Thank you very much for the congratulations, these are my 1st wins, overall, in HSO in quite a long time I beleive. I know I won a TCL race 3 years ago at Adelaide but I don't think I've had an overall win since
Also, thank you to everyone who turned up and I hope everyone had as much fun as I had, especially in the second race with the three-way battle for the lead.
Congratulatoins also to Petr for your double
finishes as well as Grant and Peter for one
each, very impressive drives from everyone, this was a difficult track to drive in these machines, as magnified by a soreness of my shoulders after last nights action
See you all in 2 weeks time, if not before with the events that happens along the way.
Highlights will be uploaded sporcadically whenever mine and Jasons' Schedules allows for us to spend some time recording/narrating the videos