The circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya isn’t a track I’ve raced on very often – the only other time I can remember is way back in the first season of the ESR championship. It’s never a popular track and some of the Race Club drivers weren’t very impressed when they saw it on the calendar. It’s one of the few tracks we haven’t raced at in the previous 2 seasons (the others being Paul Ricard and Snetterton) so I added it this season for a bit of variety.
Starting from 9th of 16 between Terry and Trevor I was caught in a bit of pushing and shoving at the first corner which saw me fighting with Chris over 12th place, quickly becoming 10th after other drivers collided at Würth. I passed Chris soon after, only to lose the position after overshooting at La Caixa. I finished the first lap in 10th and passed James on the straight. Chris was less than a second in front and I set about chasing him down.
I made the pass on lap 2 around the outside at La Caixa. There was a gap of about 5s to Silvio and Ash in front of me and I wasn’t sure if I could close that down. Within a couple of laps I got the gap down to under 4s but with a hard charging Ben on a recovery drive behind me I didn’t expect to stay in 8th for long. He passed me at Repsol and I concentrated on staying with him and trying to catch Silvio and Ash.
Something must have happened on lap 7 as I quickly came across Ant, Ash, Silvio and Ben but I couldn’t keep up with them and they started to pull away. On lap 9, while Ash and Ant fought at Repsol I closed the gap unexpectedly quickly and got two wheels on the grass having to take avoiding action. This let Chris through dropping me back to 10th. I was stuck behind him until lap 12 when he made a mistake at Repsol and I was able take the place back, making up another when Ash had an incident putting me in 8th. I drove the remaining 10 minutes without issue and finished in 8th.
For Race 2 I didn’t qualify as well and lined up 11th between James and Georgi. There was carnage at the first corner which lifted me to 6th. I held the position until we arrived at La Caixa on lap 6 where I had a recovering Terry and John behind me. John found a way through and I messed up the corner trying to defend, leaving the track and allowing Terry, James and Silvio through too.
Now in 10th, I tried to make a recovery, chasing Silvio who was 4s in front. James ran wide at Campsa a few laps later, bringing me up to 11th and I chipped away at the gap to Silvio with Ash chasing me down behind me. The gap to Silvio stayed constant although I lost a position when I moved over to let me teammate through for 9th (he was in the championship fight and I’m not). With 7 minutes remaining I had a good gap of 4s to Ash behind me until I made an error at Campsa and he was able to squeeze through with 3 minutes remaining. I stayed very close to him and I hit him at Turn 1 on the final lap. We both recovered without affecting the race result and we trundled around the final lap in formation for me to finish 11th.
Overall I was quite happy with the first race but disappointed I’d squandered a good chance to bag some points due to others misfortune in the second race.
Over the evening, my SA had risen 2 pts to 74, and both by CC and CH had dropped by a point to 90 and 82 respectively.