BRITISH GT 2022
RD.3 DONINGTON GP
Donington Park. I love this track. I got my first ever car racing podium here, I got my first GT3 podium here, and it was the first race track I ever went to as a spectator back in 2008. Now I was setting my eyes on doing the best I could in the brand new BMW M4 GT3. I knew the car would be good here so my main target was to showcase my ability in this amazing machine at in my opinion the UK’s most amazing circuit!
Entering the weekend, Betty had done some testing at the circuit in a road car so she knew where the circuit went. This being her first full year racing outside of Taiwan, the majority of the UK circuits were brand new to her, so helping her learn was another one of the tasks I would have to tick off over the weekend.
As practice got underway the balance of the car wasn’t brilliant as I struggled with entry understeer. Despite the changes we made this wasn’t easy to solve contrary to what we first thought. We struggled on trying different changes to the car and found a balance eventually that was still not perfect, but the best we could do for qualifying. I knew there was potential in the car for a top 10 at minimum so I set about pushing hard. Unfortunately I would never get the chance to show the true potential of the car as a team error meant my tyres were seriously under pressure, and as such the first four laps were a throwaway as the tyres built pressure. By the time the pressures were closer to the optimum window the tyre had lost its peak grip. I pushed as hard as I could and despite feeling like I’d driven good laps, the pace simply wasn’t there and we ended qualifying disappointingly low.
I was annoyed by qualifying, but I had the chance to make up for it in the race. Betty would take the start of the 3 hour endurance with myself running stints 2 and 4. The start was much less chaotic than at Silverstone with Betty keeping the car safe and navigating her way around the track for her first 35 minute stint before handing over to me. Unfortunately as I got in we were already a lap down so the amount of progress I could make was limited, however I set about setting purple sectors and had the fastest 3 laps in our subclass come the end of my first stint, pulling off some proper overtakes if I do say so myself. I’d pulled our car up 3 positions when I finished my first stint and handed the car back to Betty. She struggled in her second stint with fatigue so her pace dropped off compared to her first so when she brought the car back into the pits, we’d fallen to P17 overall. I had ground to make up so I was able to throw caution to the wind for the final 40 minutes. I got my head down and just exhausted myself by driving as fast as possible to the checkered flag. My times were still super competitive compared to the leading cars and I was able to gain another 3 places to end the race in P14 and gain more points for our championship. Personally, I ended the race strongly with the 3rd best race lap and the 4th best race lap average, proving the pace in the car and myself. I really drove my heart out this weekend and it’s a shame that the result couldn’t have shown the potential we had. We’ll keep our heads down and try and make some changes to unlock the full potential come Snetterton.
As always, a massive thanks has to go out to all my amazing sponsors and my supporters. I will continue to push my hardest and keep the progress up.