Race Club Season 2 Round 10/12 – Laguna Seca

I’ve always enjoyed racing at Laguna Seca. It’s a short lap which has some tough corners – there’s not a lot of run off and the sausage kerbs can be brutal. On top of those hazards there’s also the fearsome Corkscrew sequence of corners. To add to the mix we were hoping to have some new drivers join us but as it happened only 1 turned up.

Race 1

For the first race I qualified 9th of 11 – the grid was quite tight and I wasn’t to upset about that. Most of the drivers I usually race weren’t on track so it was mainly the quicker drivers. Exiting the Andretti hairpin there was some contact between Ömer and Jörgen and I was up to 7th place, rising to 6th after Lee ran wide at Turn 6. At the end of lap 1 I was up to 6th – not a bad start.

Chris made an error at Turn 5 and I got past him on lap 2 and pulled out a gap of half a second by the end of the lap. On the following lap he made another error and the gap went up to 3 seconds. All I had to do now was keep going for the next 25 minutes.

Ever so slowly I started to catch Ben in 4th place until I clipped the sausage kerb on the inside of Turn 10 and fell back to 7th behind Chris and Lee. For the next 7 or 8 laps Chris and I fought closely over 6th place and although I could close the gap I could never get past. On lap 16 he made the mistake I was praying for at Turn 6 and with 7 minutes to go I took 6th place.

With 2 minutes to go, the gap between us was at 2 seconds but, protecting my position I drove far to conservatively through the Corkscrew and Chris took over a second out of the gap. Exiting the Andretti hairpin on the final lap he was with 0.3s of me and made his move up the hill to the Corkscrew after I was to conservative once again. We went into the Corkscrew neck and neck, I braked later and thought I had the corner but couldn’t keep it on track and he went past as I rejoined the track. Only 0.5s behind I nailed the brakes at the final corner and crossed the line only 0.2s behind him. I’d had a great race and was really happy with my driving. and the clean fight we’d had.

Race 2

I forgot to record Race 2, luckily there’s nothing to report on as it was an absolute shocker. After a similar qualifying I stayed out of trouble in the Andretti hairpin and stayed with the pack only to spin at the bottom of the Corkscrew. From there it was a lonely race where once again my frustration at being so far back caused me to make further errors.

Lessons Learned

I was pleased with my driving in the first race but let my frustrations get the better of me in the 2nd one, resulting in to many mistakes. Next week we’re at Zandvoort which is a circuit I don’t know at all – time to get learning!