Trying to sleep but driving laps of Oulton Park in my head on Sunday night after a rather disappointing Saturday was the only way to find the time I needed to be competitive the following day. Saturday definitely was not my day, after what I thought was going to be a disastrous brush with the wall at turn one, somehow I managed only superficial damage and in FP2 I got more comfortable with the 150kgs of weight in the passenger seat.
Despite my day being very less than average, Declan put in a very strong showing and I had some great data to look at. Qualifying was another awful session for me, through fast right hand bends the inside wheel was scrubbing and I had a movement and vibration through the steering wheel – turns out it was probably only a wheel rim problem as well as being unbalanced. I was disappointed with my time as I knew there was more pace in me. Sunday was a lovely day off, I sat in the hotel sauna driving (yes, pedals, gears and steering wheel too!) the track for a good 10 minutes. I was very glad that no one walked!
Race 1 on Monday saw me starting from P3, my target was to stay in contact with the leader and keep a consistent pace so that Dec could use his speed to move up the order in the last half of the race. Everything went perfectly to plan and I had a solid stint, our stop wasn’t perfect but neither was the lead car which served a stop-go penalty as theirs was too short. We finished the race around 20 seconds ahead of second place, my first win!
Dec started from P1 in Race 2, built up a 22 second gap and then pitted, this time our stop time (which was meant to be 1min 12) was over 2 minutes! We had dropped into 2nd by quite a margin and it didn’t look like another win was in our grasp. Luck was on our side when the leader had a big accident with a Ferrari, causing severe damage and I inherited 1st place. The safety car almost cost me the race 2 win though bringing 2nd place right onto my tail for the last 2 laps. I sat on every apex and hoped the chequered flag was imminent. Luckily for me it was and I held on to 1st by 0.3 of a second. 2 wins out of 2 was amazing. It was time for a champagne shower, Rick please try and avoid my eyes next
Catch coverage of the races on Channel 4 at 7am on Saturday 6th April and then Motors TV multiple times starting the same day.