Sorry I am so late with my Donington Park update but I have been preparing hard for my first trip to Thruxton this weekend!
Anyway, Donington is one of the closer circuit's for me – I was definitely looking forward to the weekend, I had lots of guests and sponsors there and I was in the mood to do well.
I felt more comfortable in the car after Brands Hatch due to now having a good insight to what Porsche racing is all about. It's definitely a lot rougher than Palmer Audi, but never the less; the race craft is still the same.
Thursday was a good day – we couldn’t have asked for better weather, the sun was out, it was hot, and I was eager to get out on the track. I set off from the pits and down the famous Craner Curves for the first time, which is a different experience in a Porsche to a single-seater, as the car rolls a lot more through these corners.
I was third for the majority of the session, before getting pipped by thousandth of a second to fourth. I was still happy though and really thought I could sort my qualifying out for Saturday.
Saturday was red-hot and you could really feel the heat in the car, but after such a successful test session I felt ready for qualifying. I tried my best to get some space out on track in order to put a fast lap in, but luck wasn’t on my side as I eventually had a people spinning in front of me during my quickest run.
The best I could do was a repeat performance of Brands hatch – taking eighth on the grid in both races. I was very disappointed and so was my engineer. We discussed what went wrong and I went home that night in a depressed mood!
After beating myself up (not literally), I managed to get an early night and felt raring to go on Sunday, determined to put things right. No-one changed position off the line in race one, but luck seemed to be on my side when a few cars went off in front of me. I managed to pick them off one by one and I was up to fourth!
The race was steady after that and I came back to the pits a little disappointed, despite fourth being my best result so far. I couldn't help thinking what could have been however, if I could sort my performance in qualifying out.
We all got ready for the final race of the day as I sat on the grid behind current champ Tim Harvey. I knew he wouldn’t be hanging around and I managed to get on his inside on the run down to the first corner, but he unfortunately managed to hold his position. I spent most of the race looking at his rear bumper but he never made a mistake and I just couldn't get passed.
I finished seventh and at the end of the day I was happy with my results. I am fifth in the standing and the top rookie at the moment, but I know that I still have a lot of work to do. I believe that once I have cracked qualifying then I can give the frontrunners a real challenge.
Thruxton may be a tough place to start that challenge as I've not raced there before but I will still be aiming for a podium or two!!
Thanks for the support.
For more information on Richard visit www.richardplant.co.uk