What an event, action-packed week on one of the best circuits in the world! Being such a massive week, we arrived on Wednesday to complete our track walk. A very big eye-opener in regard to the challenges the 6.3km circuit presents.
Having briefly sampled the mountain late last year – I was feeling quietly confident about a strong showing. This reflected after our single 50-minute practice session on Thursday afternoon. Posting the 3rd fastest time, with plenty of room for improvement – giving us the confidence to build on heading into qualifying on Friday morning.
Qualifying started well, finding the grip early in the session – we found ourselves sitting in 2nd when a red flag came out. With a 1 lap dash left once the session went green once again, I was unable to generate enough tyre temp and improve on my time. Ultimately falling to 5th at the completion.
After a clean start to race 1, I managed to make the most of another driver’s error to move into 4th by the end of lap 1. Showing signs of good pace early, pressuring for a podium spot, I wasn’t able to mount a challenge and settled for 4th.
Race 2 was intense! Making a move around the outside at turn 2 on the opening lap, I ran inside the top 3 early before falling back to 4th. On the last lap, I managed to make a bold move around the outside, on the grass (at 275kmh!) down Conrod Straight for 3rd.
Unfortunately, defending hard into the final corner, I locked and inside front – struggled to slow the car down enough and found myself stuck in the gravel trap after light contact with the wall. Resulting in a DNF.
Starting the final race on Sunday from 16th position. I managed to stay out of trouble, work my through the field, making some clean passes to finish 6th at the completion of the 9 lap encounter! Showing strong speed throughout the race, at one stage I was lapping under the lap record before coming across some traffic.
Although the results weren’t great, there are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend! Massive thank you to the McElrea Racing boys, especially Timmy, Leigh & Rob. Everyone for their support and my amazing group of sponsors – this isn’t possible without you! Can’t wait for some street circuit action on Gold Coast in 2 weeks time.