1: Oulton Park, Island Circuit - 24th April 2010
crashed at Oulton Park in 2009, I was unsure about how the first
race of the season would pan out. Luckily the forecast for the weekend
was dry and the trackday before the event helped to ease my nerves.
I felt out of practice, having only been on track once this year,
and was still getting used to the new engine.
The day of the race arrived and Adam had me up at the crack of dawn
as usual! With the briefing, last minute sticker applying and bacon
roll out of the way it was time to get out on track for the warm
up. I took it quite easy, checking that everything was ok with the
car and making sure I stayed on the black stuff this time (or so
I thought, but then got a telling off for running wide at the exit
of Island Hairpin)! I got back into the pits where Adam told me
I got a 1.40.637, already quicker than my times for the last
two years. Scott Robson had set the quickest time with a 1.35.670...I
had to somehow lose 5 seconds to be in with a chance.
The practice session arrived and I had convinced Scott to let me
follow him out so that I could try to match his pace and cut my
time. I perhaps followed him a bit too closely, both of us going
off the track at Old Hall corner! I'm sure he was a bad influence
on me at Snetterton last year as well! The session felt noticeably
quicker, my leg was shaking with the adrenaline! When I got back
to the pits a very smiley Adam told me that I had come first in
my class having slashed my time down to 1.35.150, just beating
Scott with a 1.35.369. He said that I was not allowed to follow
him for the remaining sessions!
The break between practice and qualifying felt like an eternity,
especially since it was delayed after the truck demo guys crashed
into each other on the circuit. Scott and I were lined up together,
but he buggered off to the toilet and missed the start of the session!
This time I knew the pace that I had to keep up. I had three year
old tyres on for the session that went off after just one hot lap
so I was feeling tense about setting a fast time. Adam had been
drilling into me the importance of getting points in the qualifying
so I had to get a decent finishing position. Something must have
worked, I managed a 1.35.210...first in my class again, and
5 valuable points. I was raring to get out in the final!
The final was a challenge! I had lined up to get out on track first,
since my first laps were usually my fastest and then the tyres would
give up. Bo Neilson in his speedy Astra passed me as I was warming
up my tyres. In my head I had to get back past him to get an early
hot lap in. I overtook him on the pit straight, and left my braking
a bit too late and turned into the corner too early....sending me
off the track at Old Hall...again! Bo took back the leading place
and I was left chasing him round the track again for two laps. In
hindsight, I should have backed off to leave a gap between the two
of us from the start so that I had a clear track ahead of me, but
the red mist came down and my brain shut off! Having done two hot
laps (which I knew were off the pace) I had to do a couple of cool
down laps to let the tyres recover and had thought that I had blown
any chance of a podium. I had the time to squeeze in another two
hot laps into the session, but the track was full of traffic slowing
me down and the tyres were way past their best. At the end of the
session I came back into the pits resigned to the fact that I hadn't
done enough for a podium finish. I saw Adam go straight to Scott
to tell him he had won. He finally came over to me to let me know
I had came second. I still have no idea how! My time was 1.35.773.
Finally I got to stand on the podium...and better yet, got the trophy
that Rob Barnes has been promising me for years! After crashing
on the same track last year, it felt great to be standing up on
that step! A big thanks to Andy Barnes for popping my champagne!
Congratulations to Scott on his first place, I couldn't have come
second to a better competitor!
Roll on Round Two!
Fee - Club Class #7
lot of people will also be happy to see Fiona Kindness take the
second step on the podium in her R32 Skyline. Fiona had quite an
unsettling off at Oulton Park in 2009, so to come back with such
vengeance shows a great strength of character"
Time Attack Website
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