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.