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RD.3 - Oulton Park

Entering the Oulton Park weekend, I had carried over my confidence in my one lap pace following on from my first car racing podium at Donington the round before. However, I knew that I also needed to clear my head in close races and make an active effort to know when I was overdriving the car which lead to my two mistakes in races 2 & 3 the same weekend.

All through Friday testing, the team and I really struggled to find a comfortable setup that I felt I could drive consistently quickly around the bumpy and narrow Oulton Park circuit. Because of this, I could never truly push the car, in fear of making a mistake meaning I qualified a disappointing 6th place.

The main difference for this weekend is that there were only 2 races as opposed to the usual 3; Race 1 on Saturday, Race 2 on Sunday. A lot of waiting around and looking at data with the team meant I certainly had enough time to get to the bottom of this lack of raw speed.

Race 1:

As Race 1 approached, I felt as though the team and I had worked hard to hopefully, play equally hard on track and make up some positions. Lights out, and away the field went. My start was average, not losing any places into turn one and holding position for the entirety of the first lap. I progressed into 5th at the start of lap 2 as one of my competitors had a big spin in turn 1 and I only just got past before being involved in his accident but that left me clear on my own in P5 and that is where I’d finish the race. My pace wasn’t amazing, but it was competitive and hopefully now, starting on the inside for turn 1 in race 2, I’d be able to mix it up with the front guys.

Race 2:

Race 2 got underway and having made yet another setup change, I was hoping to get a good start and begin my charge for the top spots. It really didn’t get off to the best of starts, literally. Being sandwiched into turn 1 meant I lost 3 places straight off the start and now was right down in the 8th! Quickly recovering my composure, I began to come back through the field moving up into 6th before the end of lap 2. Unfortunately for me, I then got in a race long battle with another driver and this held me up massively over the course of the race. In fear of having another DNF, I played it cautiously with this battle and bided my time but when I did finally manage to get past him, I’d already lost another 2 places to other competitors and would have to bring the car home in a disappointing 7th place.

Overall, this wasn’t a good weekend for me. I felt as though I struggled around this circuit and although I was actually as quick as the leaders, my cautious approach in the races really hampered my chances and despite finishing both races, I couldn’t be proud of my weekend’s performance and would have to prepare myself to come back and do better at Croft.

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