Iíve never been any good around Donington, for some reason I just canít get the hang of the circuit and take some of the corners too slow, some way too fast. Qualifying started out dry-ish but it started to rain after a few minutes and my times went up dramatically. I decided to try and get some track space to go for some kind of lap time but just managed to go backwards down a very large grid and find no space at all. Before I knew it the chequered flag was out and Iíd hardly set a lap time at all. Back in the paddock some of the other drivers have done their quickest laps AFTER the rain had started, it really wasnít that wet and track conditions were good. All in all one of the worst qualifying sessions Iíve ever completed.
So Iím determined to do better in the raceÖ
Make a great start and get past the big Camaro plus a couple of Capris, hold the place down Craner Curves and under the bridge but several cars just drive past on the way back up the hill. Not sure if I just got a poor exit or whether the Golfís lack of power was showing but by the end of lap 1 all the cars Iíd passed on the good start were past me and pulling away, my lap times were still 5 secs off the class D benchmark. Managed to get a bit of space and started chasing the white SD1 of xxxx and the yellow Escort of Davis Scriven. Lap by lap my times (and the gap) reduced, several cars had grassy moments and I think I passed the Capri of Adrian Fuller (and got re-taken) about three times. Lap 9 and the SD1 has a big moment at the top of the hill, Scriven goes wide to avoid him and I see my chance. Approaching the hairpin Iím catching the XR3 quickly but he blocks the inside and I end up following through on the start/finish straight. Iím quicker around Redgate and flat out now through Craner Curves, I then miss 5th gear causing major flames out the exhaust and Scriven pulls away a fraction. I have another go at the hairpin but its too little too late and I finish another race behind the ex-Rick Kerry Escort. At least the last couple of laps racing has got a lap time out of me Ė 1.31 is my quickest around Donington by a big margin.
Many thanks to Rich and Bob for the photographs Ė and also to xxxx photography for the CD of enhanced pictures.