The Hungaroring is one of three tracks Race Club hasn’t yet raced at (the others being Snetterton and Barcelona) and I was looking forward to the evenings racing. This was the first track that I’d driven the Lamborghini at so I knew the track, had a setup and, while I was confident of having some good racing I wasn’t expecting a great result.
For Race 1, I qualified 11th out of 15 in between Silvio and Georgi. Unusually, I got a good start and made up a couple of positions but as we went 4 wide into Turn 1 I was tagged by Chris, dropping me back a little bit. I recovered across the gras and put my foot down passing Jörgen around the outside at Turn 2 only for him to hit me at the following corner. This time I was spun around and hit the wall, doing some light damage to the rear of the car. After 3 corners I was last.
I set about chasing down Georgi and the pair of us passed Matt at Turn 4 as he ran wide and after getting a good run on his Bentley I passed Georgi on the inside at Turn 11, now 3.6s behind Jörgen. Jörgen was fighting with Dan over 11th place and I caught them quickly and after a brief 3 way fight we both passed Dan. With 23 minutes to go I desperately wanted to pass him.
I could not find a way past him, despite being faster then him so when a hard charging Ant was right behind me, I let him through with 13 minutes to go in the hope that he would either slow or crash into Jörgen. Sadly, he did neither as by allowing him to pass I’d dropped back too with the gap at 3.6s with just under 10 minutes remaining. Ant made the pass though and with 6 minutes left I had the gap down to less than a second. On the final lap, we had contact at the penultimate corner when I hit him. I waited for him to restart and we finished in 10th and 11th places. I’d had a good race but was a bit frustrated that I could have done better if I’d not lost a lot of time on the first lap.
For the second race I qualified a little better in 9th, between Silvio and Jörgen. Sadly, I was hit once again at Turn 1, hit the barrier and was, once again, dead last. I passed Matt at Turn 9 on lap 1 and then hit Dan at the chicane on lap 2. It was my fault – I was quicker and desperate to get past him. I waited for him to get going again and the passed him at the final corner but I had to pass Matt again now.
I passed Matt again at the start of lap 5 and once again started to chase down Jörgen who was 7s ahead. I caught him on lap 11 with 10 minutes remaining. On lap 13 I tried a pass at Turn 1, only to lose it straight away but after he got a bit of over steer exiting Turn 5 I was able to make the pass stick. I started to catch Georgi, passing him at Turn 13 on lap 16. He stuck close to me and passed me back on the inside at Turn 1. We stayed close and I pulled off what I thought was a rather spectacular (and lucky) move on the inside at Turn 2 for 11th and that was where I finished.
The key lessons learned in this evenings racing are the benefits of concentration and practice – I only really made one mistake (hitting Dan) all night and if I’d not been involved in contact on both first laps I’m sure I’d have finished higher up. I guess the other lesson I learned was stay out of Jörgens way on the opening lap!
By the end of the evening I’d made some small improvement to my rating to with a 2pt increase to my SA (70) and 1pt each to CC (86) and CN (85). Next week we’re at the Nurburgring – a great track we last visited in Season 1 in the wet. This time the weather looks much better!