Porsche Carrera Cup GBRichard Plant Blog

Richard Plant Blog: From Zero To Hero

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This track was the one I was most looking forward to most this season with it being one of the longest and most challenging tracks in the world – I knew it was going to be hard work.

I arrived on Tuesday for two days of training on the Nordschleife, which consisted of learning how the people who work at the 'Ring' operate and we also got the chance to follow an instructor around the circuit. This was all a great help despite it pouring down with rain!

Thursday was the first practice, but it was until 6pm so we had plenty of waiting around to do. It must have rained and dried up five times before our session, but we got lucky! Thankfully it was a dry practice as it’s quite a scary place to be going around in the rain.

The practice went really well and managed to dip under the eight minute mark, which put me in the top 30 out of nearly 100 Porsches! I ran out of fuel towards the end of the session, which was a pain, but never the less I was happy with the result.

It was red hot for qualifying on Friday and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. I knew what I had to do and with the car bursting with fuel this time I was ready to go! I was busy taking the shine off my new tyres during my out lap, but as I went around the Dunlop loop at the bottom of the GP circuit I couldn’t get out of 2nd gear – my gearbox had broken four corners into the lap! I managed to crawl back to the pits where my mechanic took a look, but unfortunately it was over. I was gutted.

I then went back to the truck only to here that my team-mate Euan Hankey had suffered a bad accident and flipped his car at 168mph! The great news was that he was ok, but unfortunately his car was a write off and he was out of the race. It just reminds you how dangerous racing can be and exactly why this track is called the 'Green Hell.'

Saturday was race day and it was absolutely chucking it down with rain – there was the small number of 98 cars on the grid and I was starting in 98th. It was quite hard to believe really after everything was looking so promising in practice.

I sat on the grid after the 14.5 mile green flag lap, waiting patiently for the race to begin. I was going around the last corner waiting for everyone to nail on the rolling start – I knew I had nothing to lose.

We set off in the white mist of rain and you could see nothing! I managed to avoid an incident on the first corner and then got my head down. I knew I was faster than a lot of these guys in front so I picked them off as quickly as I could. My performance over the six laps would decide my position in the GB series so it was all important.

Despite the race being nearly an hour long, it was all a blur and it was over before I knew it. I came into the paddock where I got interviewed twice and to be honest I was puzzled as to why they were interviewing me? It was then that I found out that I'd managed to pass over 60 cars and finish eighth in the GB series and 35th overall. I actually couldn’t believe what I had achieved; I must have just got so taken up by the race and not really notice how many cars I had passed.

As I was leaving I was presented with the driver of the weekend award by Porsche – I couldn’t believe it and I was really chuffed! So in the end I was delighted as I walked back to the car for the nine hour journey back to Sheffield with my award. I also realise how lucky I was – to take on the world famous Nordschleife in the Carrera World Cup and to win an also win award.

I couldn't have asked for a happier ending to the weekend and I must advise you all that if you ever get the chance to go to the 'Ring' then you must – it's incredible! Next time it’s Snetterton, fingers crossed for dry conditions and hopefully a podium!

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The Checkered Flag was set up in August 2009 and is dedicated to providing independent daily news and features from around the world of motorsport.
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