The next round of the APR VW Cup was at the world famous Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. After a long drive on Wednesday, we arrived at the track ready for a 40 minute practice session on Thursday morning. As it was the only practice I was going to get, and having never been to the track before, it was vital to learn the track as fast as possible to give me the best chance for qualifying on Friday afternoon. Testing went very well and I learnt the track quickly. I ended up fifth fastest, which was pretty good but there was still a lot of time to find both in me and the car! After a few changes to the car and after studying the on board footage from testing, I was confident I could fight for the top positions. However, after a small error on my fastest lap meant I had to settle for p5. I was disappointed with this as I knew I should have been on the front row.
Race 1: Starting P5 I knew if I made a good start I had a chance of a podium. I got off the line great but was stuck on the outside for the first corner and was pushed wide. I came around in P5 but after lap 1 I knew I had a problem with the car. The clutch was getting worse and worse. It was so bad I had to back off and stop pushing as I knew I needed to finish and score as many points as possible for the championship. On the last lap I was still in fifth place. However, I knew there was a reverse grid for the top 6 in the next race. Meaning if you finished P6 you would be pole for the next race.With this in mind I slammed on the brakes going over the line at the chequered flag to let the sixth place man by. I was happy that I had finished the race, despite more car problems, and also given myself the best opportunity for race 2.
Race 2: The Team did a fantastic job to get my car out for race 2, after having to change the clutch. After the warm up lap I realised I had no boost in the car and I knew I was just going to be eaten alive down the long back straight. After a great start I managed to lead into the first corner, but that was short lived as a massive lack of power meant 8 cars passed me down the back straight. After trying to reset the car for what seemed like the 100th time, the boost came back and I was able to push again. I fought my way back up to 4th place and was quickly catching the leaders. By lap 4 I was on the back of them and pushing for a podium place, but unfortunately my car leapt into limp mode for the next 4 laps. All I could do was switch the ignition off every time it did it, this was costing me at least 2 seconds per lap. We finally crossed the line in 4th place, a very respectable achievement and not to be under estimated considering the circumstances. All in all, I scored vital championship points and am still 7th in the standings. It just would have been nice to bring a trophy home for all the mechanics that managed to get my car out for race 2. Bring on Brands Hatch, you are going to see one determined man fighting for the win!