With a wet weekend at Thruxton, we all knew things were going to be very tricky – but not that bad…
With no Friday testing given that we'd had our Thruxton test day the week prior to Donington Park, we went straight into qualifying. That was the first time I'd driven my JHR Developments Ginetta G55 in the wet, so I was just wanting to get comfortable with the car in the conditions, but at the same time aiming for a quick lap. I ended the session P2, which I was pleased about all things considered.
Race one was dry, which I think surprised everyone! I got off to a reasonable start, but not quite good enough to jump into P1 so I slotted in behind Tom Sharp. I stayed there for the entire race, but had pressure from Carl Breeze most of the way through, and with two laps remaining I had a big slide going into the Club Chicane under braking. That cost me a lot of momentum along the pit straight, and I had to defend from Breeze for the whole of the final lap. I finished the race in P2, which we were happy with but at the same time we knew we had more to find.
We awoke on Sunday morning to find that the majority of the paddock was either under water, blown over or under water and blown over! Overnight there had been some awful weather, and we knew it was going to be staying put all day. Race two of the weekend was really bad, with visibility heavily reduced when you were behind someone, so bad in fact that you had to guess which corner you were at! It wasn't really too much fun, having to guess where Church was! In the end, though, we just had to 'man up' and get on with what we had been dealt. Starting from P2, as in the first race I got a reasonable start and slotted in behind Sharp, but with visibility being that bad I settled into a groove and just battled the conditions instead of battling for the lead as it would have been so risky to attempt a pass. P2 once again, but most importantly with no damage.
For the final race of the weekend, thankfully the rain eased up meaning driving conditions were much better, and with the reverse grid I was to be starting P3. I was effectively starting in P2, though, as Andrew Richardson was late to the grid, handing me a clear run into Turn One. I took full advantage of that clear run and got a great launch, getting into the lead and holding it until I began to experience a lot of movement from the rear of the car. Initially I thought it was tyres, but as we continued over the space of two laps it went from bad to terrible until coming up to Church, I lost all drive, which wasn’t the most entertaining of circumstances to be in! Unfortunately, that was to be the end of my race. The JHR guys worked their socks off to try and get me back out, but it just wasn’t to be and I pulled off the circuit and parked it up.
So now with a four-week break until Oulton Park, it means we have lots of time to re-prep everything and get it all sorted so that we can go there all guns blazing!
Remember to keep up-to-date with everything by following me on Twitter – TomIngram80 – and to find out more on my website: www.tom-ingram.com
Thanks very much guys, and hope to see loads of you at Oulton!