Too much power too early on cold tyres led to my one and only DNF (non-finish) of the season. Braking too hard and too early on the entry to Coppice Corner was established by my coach Malcolm Edeson to be loosing some time, but I made an error of judgement in choosing when to correct it. Taking too much speed into a corner on cold tyres is a recipe for a spin – and that’s exactly what happened. I did make a quick attempt to catch it – and I’m certainly that with more experience I would have done – but in the end, car and I went backwards into the Coppice gravel trap.
A long delay in getting the car back to our pit garage meant there was little time for the Newbridge team to get the car prepared for the final race of the season. Having established the job was even possible (checking for any obvious damage to wheels, tyres, brakes or suspension) they quickly removed the wheels to hand to Tony “Tyres” Mekwinski – owner of North Shore Tyres, who are the official supplier of the Toyo R888s that are our control tyres – to remove the gravel that had got trapped between rim and tyre and to make certain nothing was damaged.
Meanwhile the Newbridge boys, and team boss Richard, set about removing considerable amounts gravel from various under-body orifices! Its amazing just how much gets stuck under there!
This non-finish had a greater impact on my season than expected. Missing out on 11 or 12 points was enough to loose me three places in the Championship table, so instead of being a respectable 10th out of 24 registered drivers, I was 13th.
The first of race of this weekend’s triple-header proved to be mix of success and failure. Rick Styrin needed only a single win from the weekend to clinch the Class A Boxster championship but the gremlins struck during the first lap of qualifying, leaving him to start from the back of our section of the grid. But (as you’ll see from the video) he made a tremendous start, surging through the pack to be in 2nd place by the end of the first lap.
Having taken pole in the morning qualifying session, new to the series Will Sharpe overcooked it and finished in the gravel at Old Hairpin.
Team mate Paul Moraviec went wide at turn 1 (Redgate) allowing me to pass him, but he was really on a charge and managed to catch and pass me about half-way through the race. He surged ahead to finish 16 seconds ahead of me overall.
987 driver Steve Boyles, who is also coached by Malcolm Edeson, after a great qualifying put him P2 suffered a coolant system failure and was forced to retire, but his leaked coolant led to Julian Brown leaving the circuit into the gravel at McCleans. With his car in a precarious position opposite the apex, the race was red flagged at 10 laps – sufficient laps to consider the race complete.
A determination not to finish behind a single 924 lead to a great 2-lap scrap with Will’s brother Henry – we swapped places a few times but Hen went on to finish 1st in the 924s – his first race in the series. Unfortunately – again – my pace just wasn’t quick enough and I was last in class, but avoided being beated by any 924.
Photos kindly provided by Steve Feakin, who is a member of my region of Porsche Club GB.
Sadly, my best time in this morning’s qualifying didn’t manage to match my best lap from Friday’s free practice – leaving me 2 seconds adrift of team-mate Paul Moraviec. A damp track lead to grip issues and there were a couple of yellow flags, but otherwise the weather was perfect.
Overcast but dry conditions greeted us for the Friday free practice session at Donington in Derbyshire in what will be the final round of the 2012 Logson Group BRSCC Porsche Championship. The day was frequently interrupted with red flags and stoppages and sadly one of those was from one of my team mates, who unluckily skipped across the gravel in the run up to McCleans to impact the wall and badly damage his 987.
I had hoped I could drop a few seconds from my own personal best here at Donington, but in the last of the morning sessions I managed to shave a massive 5.3 seconds off! Sadly I couldn’t improve on that in the afternoon and my times started to go the other way – not entirely sure why, but it sounded like this is not uncommon.
Tomorrow (Saturday) sees qualifying in the morning with the first of three races in the afternoon, and we’re all hoping the rain stay away.