Race Club Season 2 Round 1/12 – Suzuka

For the second season of Race Club I decided to switch cars to the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO. The test sessions we’d had before the start of season showed that I was roughly 2 seconds a lap quicker as well as being a lot more consistent and less error prone in it. Like Season 1, Season 2 would be a 12 round championship with a mix of weather, a 1 hour endurance half way through and a 2 hour season finale. The other rounds would be 2 30 minute sprints. All of the tracks had been voted on my the drivers and we started the season at Suzuka.

Race 1

I started the race in 6th behind Jack and in front of Roger. I made my usual poor start and dropped to 8th, recovering to 6th when Chris and Ben came together at the 2nd Degna and rose to 5th when Dan C did his drive through for being out of position at the start. I stayed within 0.5s of Roger until coming around the hairpin on the 2nd lap I came across Ant who was pointing the wrong way, damaged the car and had to limp back to the pits.

After a 30 second stop I rejoined 13th and last, almost a minute behind Terry with 21 minutes to go. He must have had an incident of some kind as within a couple of laps I’d caught him by over 15 seconds and made up a position after Ben pitted for repairs. I made up another a couple of laps later when Andy had to pit too, the gap to Terry now 30 seconds with 11 minutes remaining. A lap later I made up another positions Dan W had to pit and with the gap to the next car only 21 seconds after Terry had passed Matt. I struggled to catch Matt though and was lapped on the final lap by Jack, finishing in 10th place.

Race 1 replay on my YouTube

Race 2

I started the 2nd race in 6th place again but got an awful start (even by my standards) and dropped to 9th by the 1st corner with Jason swarming all over me. Ben and Chris once again made contact at the 2nd Degna and I was back up to 7th, chasing Ben and Terry. I made up another position when Ant spun at the Esses and slowly started to catch them.

At the end of lap 4, Terry made a mistake at the final chicane and I was right on him. I stayed with half a second of him for the next 6 laps until I made an error at the final chicane. I got on the power to early and the car over steered towards the orange armco at the pit entrance. To avoid a crash I had to take to the pit lane and lost positions to both Chris and Dan W…. better than crashing out though!

With 7 minutes to go I quickly reeled in Dan W and we had an excellent battle, passing Terry between 130R and the final chicane after he damaged his car. We were separated by a hair as we went into the final chicane on the last lap with Dan beating me across the line. I finished 7th.

Race 2 replay on my YouTube

Lessons Learned

I was disappointed with the end result of Race 1, especially as the damage to the car hadn’t really been my fault. I’d set a best lap of 2:04.668 which was very close to my qualifying time. Race 2 was better and if I’d not had the pit lane incident I’d probably have finished 6th as I’m sure Chris would have caught me.

Overall I had a really enjoyable night racing. The Lamborghini was much more stable than the AMG and this showed in my lack of accidents throughout the evening.

By the end of the evening, my SA had increased 2pts to 79, CC another 2pts to 88 and CN 2 pts as well to 84. Not a bad nights work. The 2 races left me in 8th place with a long way to go.

Dan and I at the final corner of the final lap

Next week we visit Imola for another 2 sprint races – a track I enjoy driving at but have never done well on.