I think the most recent outing in Porsche Carrera Cup GB can be summed up like this…a perfect weekend, even with a DNF.
Going into Snetterton after a long summer break we had a very simple plan, to be on the pace in Pro-Am1. Arriving there with a good points lead, and off the back of a strong first half of the season for the Oman Air Racing Team, we were looking forward to being back in action.
Everything looked very positive after the two test sessions on Friday. Qualifying on Saturday was also a positive event, starting from the front row of the Pro-Am1 grid for both races with a P2 and P1 was definitely within the plan.
By lap nine of the first race, with a lead of about 1.5 seconds over my closest rival, I was pacing myself with the group of Pro drivers ahead of me. The car felt perfectly balanced and all I had to do was bring it home. Things changed drastically though….
Coming out of Agostini there were waved yellow flags, [Jonas] Gelzinis was on the grass, the cars in front had passed, and I was carrying my speed. The normal practice is that the slower car rejoins the track in a safe manner. That’s what I was expecting, but the closer I got the space kept reducing and within the blink of an eye I had no place to go. That was it!
Gelzinis had ended my race, damage to the rear left tyre and rim was all I could see when I stepped out of the car. I think what shocked me most was he was still on the track racing. How could all that create little or no damage to his car?
As the marshals kept asking what happened I still was in shock as to how could a comfortable win just vanish? The answer to that question is very clear now, it’s motorsport!
So how could a DNF be part of a nearly perfect weekend? Well, we won race two, had one pole position and two fastest laps and increased our lead in the Pro-Am1 points. We learn something new every time we are out in the car and the goal is to improve. The way to improve is to learn from others, what they do right as well as when things go wrong.
Just when everything settled down, stepping on the top step of the podium and receiving the winner’s trophy, race three had just begun – catching my Oman Air flight which was due to depart from Heathrow. I am glad to say we made it without breaking any rules!!!
I have to say a huge thank you to my incredible sponsors, Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre, for their amazing support and to all the guys at the team – everyone is working so hard to try and win the Pro-Am1 title this year.
Thanks for reading, until next time…