Helloooo and Happy Friday,
So my last race of the year is done and dusted and overall it went… OK.
In Race 1 we started 12th and ended up 2nd on the Pro-Am podium, almost grabbing a 3rd overall and 1st in class, but a safety-car halted our progress in the last 5 laps. Still, a satisfying result!
In Race 2 we started in 20th, Rinat got a great start but was then handed a drive-through penalty for bumping another car.
Having watched the onboard I don’t blame Rinat as both he and the car ahead were on a section of track where you are at full throttle. I am not sure what he could have done to avoid the contact, it certainly wasn’t intentional and he wasn’t entirely to blame either. Compound that with the fact that the GT Open is a very aggressive series, with a lot of contact, and I found the penalty a) extreme and b) inconsistent.
After Rinat served the drive through, he pitted a few laps later and I jumped in the car. I left our box in 29th position and fought my way up to P13, just missing out on a top 10. Passing at Barcelona is not easy and often requires that the driver ahead makes a mistake so as I got closer to the top 10 it became much more difficult to make progress. You can watch some of my overtakes in the YouTube video
Now that the season is over I will turn my attention to 2019, I am speaking to teams about options for next year but nothing is set in stone. My primary focus is to stay with Rinaldi Racing as Michele gave me the break I so desperately needed this year. He gave me a chance to prove myself against the best in GT racing and then some. Not only that but he’s supported me when I needed track time or a race seat (like Spa 24). So, my hope is that we can work together again in 2019.
That being said, the first tests of 2019 will likely only take place around February (if we’re brave enough to venture out into the cold) so to keep myself busy I will be doing A LOT of sim racing. There may be the odd GT Race that I will be asked to do but my focus will shift to improving my skills in the Sim Racing World as I believe the benefits will transfer to the real thing. Ever since I took Sim Racing more seriously my results on track in the real world have greatly improved. I believe if used right it can be a massive competitive advantage.
Finally, to every one of you who has supported me this year I need to say a Big Big Thank You. Opening my newsletters and taking the time to follow my progress means a great deal to me! I hope to bring you further news and reports in 2019.
Enjoy your weekend,