So it took me a while but then I got into a bit of a groove, took a few
places back and was lapping in 1m:49s (about the same as my
mates/journos from rival mags in the other UK car, which we'll all
pretend to each other is unimportant...). I came in after an hour
(almost) where I started. Honour (almost) upheld.
The fastest bloke out there is Belgian Jeffrey van Hooydonk, whose
career includes not a little F3000; he's about 5sec faster than me. Of
course with straight tracking, a better set-up, more time, more
bravery, etc, blah, and so on, etc ... I'd still be nowhere near him,
But does it make him happy? Does it really? Will it give him a sense of
self-satisfaction tonight? Yeah, I think so too. The git.
Anyway, fuel might come in to it later. There's a 130 litres limit, and
some teams might get close to using all of theirs. We won't, so there's
a chance of making up some places towards the end if the most
lead-footed teams run out.
And if you're ever in the market for a racing car and find a tidy used MX-5, just keep an eye on the tracking...
Thurs, 11.30: We've opted to stay indoors during free
practice this morning because it's raining gently and the conditions
are likely to change between now and the race. I'll get a couple of
sighters before the start, so can suss track conditions then. Might not
have been a bad idea: a driver from the pole-sitting German car has
binned their car.
We've instead spent time going through
strap-fitting and fuelling drills, which should save more time than
we'd have found running around this morning.
Race starts at 13:00 local time. Quite nervous about it.
16.50, Wednesday: Qualifying, everyone gets one hot lap. Even
wetter so even slower, despite the fact we've softened the dampers and
unhooked the rear anti-roll bar. Traction is improved but braking isn't
and I'm a big girls' blouse into too many corners. Will therefore start
14.00, Wednesday: Today there are two practices,
nearly complete, and a qualifying session later. All will be in horrid
There are two UK teams sharing one mechanic, who has been a bit busy,
er, tidying up some loose trim on the other car, so I'm not sure we've
found a great wet set-up on the car I'm in.
At least, that's my excuse (convincing?) for the fact that we're running mid-order pace going into the one-shot qualifying. That, of course, and the fact that among the rival teams' ringers is a bloke with F3000 podiums to his name, while another is a full-time Intercontinental Rally Championship jockey.
I'm doing my car's qualifying and, unless I get quicker sharpish I'll end up starting about 20th tomorrow. Or, in other words, right where I don't want to be.