Oulton Park R2 2022
We arrived at Oulton Park on the Friday and had half a days testing, about half an hour each in the car and found Oulton Park to be one of the more demanding tracks to learn. A lot of fast fourth gear corners, should have done the full day but budget doesn't permit that. We had a misfire after I jumped heavily over a kerb, I thought I'd done the cam timing at first but it was a connector come unclipped from the coil pack. One of the other team managers found it, unfortunately I'm not sure who.
Qualifying, Jack went out first in a break in tradition , did his three laps and was in 6th, he indicated to us that he'd be in next lap, and didn't appear, I caught sight of the timing screen and saw he'd gone P2, it seems he'd nailed the first two corners and did an extra lap. I then spent about 20 minutes in the car doing some more learning.
In another break from tradition I was to start the race, the decision was taken after a bit of advice and the need to change something, then started one of the most physically hard races we'd been part of.
I dropped to fifth off the start, the plan was to not lose too many places and make the most of what were inevitable safety car periods, given 40 identical cars were starting a race.
It was hard work concentrating on my driving while being surrounded by faster drivers, two collided in the first chicane in front of me, breaking the toe link on one which proceeded to weave his way towards the second chicane at largely unreduced speed, some how he negotiated it and I passed him on the exit of Knickerbrook. Someone went off and rearranged the barriers at the bridge massively, scattering them everywhere and the first safety car appeared, the pit window still not open I stayed out. after a few laps the race was red flagged to enable proper repairs to be undertaken. I got to sit in a black car in the full sun in three layers of clothing, it got very hot. Another rolling start got us underway with an hour left to run, pit window now open I was called in.
Jack now in the car he set off and there was almost immediately another safety car period, we called him in quick for his second stop. He rejoined in 30th place or thereabouts and set about making up places, as others made their second stops and he passed people he slowly made his way up P23, P18, P9 all signalled to him until with about 10 minutes to go the last stops were made under yet another safety car and as it sorted itself out he was P2 about 8 seconds behind the leader. That's how it ended. Lots of damaged cars around it was a busy day for the marshals, thanks as ever go to them, we finished with no damage in what was quite a hard race. P2 was a great result for us and our first podium together, great moment.
Our thanks go to Phoebe and Charlie for their help in the pitstops and to Victoria for Marley sitting, he's looking quite fat today.......