What an interesting weekend! We were lacking that final piece of the car and just couldn’t seem to maximise our race pace. We tried a couple of different things, from different strategies to new components in the car – but couldn’t manage to pull it all together.
During Friday’s practice sessions, it was the first time I had ever experienced rain at Queensland Raceway, but it was probably one of the best days that I’d had there. Even though I finished fifth and seventh in the two practice sessions, there wasn’t much in it at all. I probably could have finished higher however, I cost myself second position when I locked a brake, which put me 0.25-seconds behind and back into seventh! Lucky it was only practice.
Saturday’s qualifying felt even better; I was super happy and proud of the job we did. I managed to pull the fastest lap that I’d ever done around the track with a 1:08.7217 and put the car in fourth ahead of the race. We were later elevated to third on the grid, after Mostert was penalised which essentially pushed me over to the outside line for the start (which I usually prefer…) However, I didn’t have a great start and lost a spot or two in the opening laps and then didn’t have as much pace as the guys in the front. I think we changed a little too much on the car and we suffered, leaving us to finish up seventh.
Come Sunday’s qualifying, we opted for a different setup. We had three sets of green tyres all up and we used two sets on the option that I thought was better; which turned out not to be the case! Although the car felt nicer to drive, it was slower – leaving me to finish the session in fifth.
I had one of the worst starts I’ve had in a long time in Sunday’s race and after starting from P5, I ended up in ninth in the opening laps. After getting stuck behind a few cars, I couldn’t pass as easy as I would have liked. We opted to stay out a lot longer and took on quite a bit of fuel in the first stop, which made our second stop really short in hope of coming home with a wet sail, but it just wasn’t wet enough. Seventh was all I could hold onto.
I still think we did a relatively good job, we’ve still got plenty of things to work on and plenty of componentry to build and put into the car to make it faster – so I’m eager to see what the rest of the season has in store!
I did managed to collect some points on the weekend though and I’m currently sitting fourth in the Championship – 483 points behind the lead.
Next stop…. Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300, August 3 – 4. Bring it on!