Numbers. Data. Weather. YouTube. All things that will appear in your internet search history on the build up to a race weekend.
For the numbers and data, you’re poring over the results from the last race meeting that have been posted on the championship website working out what you did well and, more crucially, what you did less well, and thus where you can improve.
It doesn’t end there though as you start to look ahead at the numbers and data of what has gone on before in years previous by the same cars in the same championship.
Then there’s the weather to factor in; the conditions are always the same for everyone but there’s nothing that gets the butterflies going more than the prospect of a wet race.
The final round of internet searching brings you to YouTube, where you work out which way the circuit goes, preferably in something that you’ll be racing in the coming weekend.
Which brings us to Oulton Park for races three and four in round two of the Radical SR1 Cup.
My week’s internet searching has revealed, most importantly, that I’ve some way to make up on the championship leaders, race pace at the previous round at Silverstone being neat and tidy rather than anything approaching truly on the limit.
What’s more, the search has also revealed that the SR1 Cup cars can go seriously quick indeed around the Outlon Park International circuit, judging by the times from when it last came here in 2013. There’s no hiding place, in other words.
YouTube has shown the handy stuff such as lines and turn in points, and some videos also have some key info such as revs, gears, and brake and throttle applications overlayed as graphics to offer further clues to unlocking quick laps at Oulton. YouTube also shows that it’s a tricky circuit to overtake on given its tightness, which makes that pace for qualifying even more crucial, plus of course the racecraft of getting the car off the line in the first place.
But what YouTube cannot prepare you for is the stuff that makes Oulton Park a favourite circuit of many drivers in Britian. It’s akin to a mini Nurburgring if you will with a mixture of seat-of-your-pants fast corners and complexes, some heady ascents, sharp descents, cambered bends and all the bumps. Ah, the bumps, of which there are so many that the overall impression of Oulton is one of a circuit that does its best to ensure you can’t get around it as quickly as you would like, wanting to spit you out into the condensed run-offs.