Qualifying… where are the brakes!
I felt good & confident going into qualifying as I’d driven Snetterton before and I’m familiar with the circuit. However, it was braking into the second hairpin (Agostini) where my confidence in the brakes all but vanished. I braked where I had braked before when driving the circuit, and where others were braking… but the car didn’t stop. I went straight on at the hairpin and re-joined the track. I kept at it with a car that wasn’t up to it for the session, having to brake earlier than everyone else; the brakes just weren’t performing. So a very disappointing qualifying session, meant that I started 18th in Race 1B.
Let’s race… 180 degrees
I headed out to the grid for the formation lap with only one thought on my mind, I have to move forward in the race. During the formation lap, I really gave the brakes a go, as the crew at AB Motorsport had bled the system. The feeling was immediately better, I parked up in my grid spot feeling much better about the race ahead. My anxiousness to improve in the race made me botch my start as I really wanted to get going. At the start, I got a load of wheelspin and didn’t move far forward. Coming out of second, further forward, I missed 3rd gear and had to try again. A poor start meant that I lost a few positions. A few laps later, I had almost gained what I had lost, and was starting to make progress.
However… going down to Montreal Hairpin on the 3rd lap, my fortunes were about to change. My braking was spot on and I was hot on the tail of another competitor. I turned in, trying to get back on the inside with an almost cutback attempt. Unfortunately, I was to be pit manoeuvred from behind, spinning me 180 degrees around. There was nothing I could do. I sat there, waiting for the field to pass, so I could ‘safely’ re-join the race. The field passed and I got going again. I didn’t let this affect me however and soldiered on. I caught back up with field making lightwork of the back of the grid. I ended up finishing 14th at the end of the race, having overtaken the car that spun me out. At the end of the race, I didn’t know how to feel, as I’d driven well but had been cruelly put to the back. I really wanted to push on for the next races.