Donington Park has always been known for its slippery surface, mainly because of the airport nearby and the planes flying over leaving fuel spray on the track surface. Going into practice I underestimated the limited grip levels and struggled to get a decent time out of the car all day, leaving me on the back foot for qualifying.
After many hours spent with my engineer discussing how we were going to find some pace from the car we came to some conclusions making more changes than ever before going into a qualifying session. First qualifying session was a dry circuit after rain earlier that morning which made the grip levels even worse – just as well some drastic changes were made.
After waiting the first 5 minutes out I led out onto the circuit and pushed hard to get tyre temperature. An early grass-bound moment set me back on getting a decent time. After many laps of pushing I didn’t manage to get pole position for the national class this time settling for 2nd place and 15th overall. Disappointing but all was to play for in the race.
The ground was damp for the race and getting tyre temperature was crucial as the low grip circuit was made one step worse. After really pushing hard to get tyre temperature I lined up on the grid ready to make up my eight grid place deficit over pole man Gabriel Dias, the lights came on and then went off and putting in a sub 3 second start really helped me out in getting to that first corner and managing getting past Gabriel by the first corner.
From the well-timed start I had to push to try and create a gap to 2nd place national car Gabriel but ended up battling with some of the slower international cars which only pushed me onto the front of Gabriel’s car. After a move I made came short Gabriel managed to get a good slipstream and got past me by the following corner. I pushed hard to keep up and to my luck it looked like Gabriel pushed that little too hard and made a mistake, I immediately took my chance to get past and succeeded.
Pushing hard again to get a gap worked and to my surprise after 2 laps of leading the national class Gabriel disappeared in which I found out later that he had some fuel pump difficulties in which secured my lead to the finish line. I didn’t manage to get fastest lap but pulled out my lead from 49 points to 56 points. A great victory maybe a little bit unexpected.
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