Spa Francorchamps Race 1

Coming to Spa is a real treat for all drivers; this circuit is my outright favourite of all time for many reasons, the main reason being the fast corner of Eau Rouge being the most exciting corner of all time regardless of wet dry conditions. Coming back to Spa after a year I was really looking forward to getting out there on circuit and being prepared for any weather Spa could throw at me.

The practice sessions went well which was a good start to the weekend, I knew since the conditions were wet or greasy I would always have the upper hand on my competitors. I have always been very confident of the F3 car in those sorts of conditions and the quick corners of the circuit with minimal run-off areas did not make an exception.

The spanner was thrown in the works when circuit was completely dry for the first qualifying. I had no previous experience in dry conditions all weekend and felt getting a fast qualifying lap out of the car could prove to be very difficult. With rain clouds on the way I had to get a fast lap in straight away and after three laps a decent time was set until red flags from a crash stopped the qualifying session in its tracks.

After the debris had been cleared the track was green and the challenge was to get a better time out of worse condition tyres. I improved on my time which put Gabriel Dias the current pole man under pressure and after which shortly followed by a crash, this meant that I could not improve on my lap time while there was a yellow flag out at that corner due to the wreckage of that car. I did not improve on my lap time but remained in second place for the national race and 15th place overall, only 0.2 off the pole time regardless of the 2 minute 16.4 second lap.

The race was again dry the circuit seemed to be slightly more kind towards us. I was starting one place behind Gabriel which meant the race could be anyone’s. After getting the usual tyre temp over a very long lap I lined up on my grid spot and launched of the start, I narrowly avoided the stalled car of Max Chilton and after a crash on the exit of the first corner again I lost some places putting me 6 places in total behind leader of the national class Gabriel.

The safety car was deployed and after counting the cars behind I knew I had to do something special to get up to the back of Gabriel. After the safety car I was straight on the case and making places up from the first corner onwards. I made 3 places up in two laps and after seeing Gabriel losing a few places I was only 2 places behind, and at which point I had the fastest lap by nearly 1 second! Unfortunately for Gabriel he had a sudden technical issue and I then got past him, shame as I would have liked a race to the end and a battle but it was not meant to be.

In the end I won the race and got fastest lap, finishing 14th out of a possible 24 cars on the grid. I increased my lead by 9 points giving me 69 more points than second place championship man Gabriel.

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