Round 4 of the championship took us to Misano, the tight and technical track perhaps more suited to bikes than big GT3 cars. Once again we were running a pair of 30 minute sprints and unlike the previous round I’d actually done some practice. I was hoping for some 5th and 6th place finishes this week.
After a poor qualifying I started the first race in 9th, in between Chris and Brian. As usual, the first lap was quite fraught and I made up positions when Ben and Ant collided at the Curva del Rio, finishing the lap in 8th close behind Chris, Lee and Jörgen who were all fighting hard over 5th. I caught up to the back of them and made the most of the opportunity to take 5th when the three of them were involved in a bit of contact on lap 4.
Ben and Ant had recovered from their earlier contact and were following close behind me with Ben taking 5th from me at the end of lap 5. Ant was quicker than me and rather than fight him I let him through on the following lap. I then had a lapse in concentration exiting the Curva del Rio and oversteering on to the gravel, losing two positions. No damage done to the car thankfully.
Come the halfway point I was following Lee, staying within a second of him until I made the same mistake with 7 minutes to go. This time I didn’t lose any positions and was also able to make up a place when Trevor ran wide at the end of the lap, bringing the car home in 8th.
I started the second race in 10th, got a good start but then got caught in some contact at the first corner with Terry and Trevor. I ran wide and span, recovering in last place and making up to 11th after Chris and Terry came together at the Curva del Rio. By the start of the 3rd lap I’d recovered up to 8th place and was hunting down Jörgen until I hit the kerbs at the Curva del Carro and was unable to slow the car, bouncing off track and damaging the right hand side of the car on the tire wall.
The damage made the car difficult to handle and I hit the wall exiting the Curva del Rio on lap 6 and had to return to the pits for repairs. After the repair I had an uneventful drive to 11th place.
All in all it was another poor night for me. I could easily have finished 5th in race 1 if I hadn’t thrown places away by making mistakes. Race 2 was a write off after the spin early on but what really did it was damaging the car. If I’d not done that I could probably have made it up to 6th.
Over the course of the evening I managed to increase my SA by 1 point while having my Car Control score drop by 1 point and no change to my Consistency.
Next week we start 2 weeks in Belgium with a trip to Zolder where heavy rain is forecast. I’m not expecting much from that !