Round 5 – Spa
This weekend was special. There were only three practice sessions on the Friday followed by Qualifying at 5pm. But this change didn’t faze me as I had endured a lot of training in preparation for this overseas weekend.
In FP1, the track was damp and I opted to go with wets which turned out to be faster, placing me in a comfortable P7. But since the second practice was going to be more representative of qualifying, a lot rested on each lap. By the end of the dry run, I was in P9 with a lot more to give. In the final practice of the day, I tweaked my driving in some areas and treated it as a qualifying session. By the end of it I rested in P7 once more, with still some small things to improve on for Qualifying.
A lot of pressure was on for Qualifying as it was mandatory to gain a tow, but if I thought about it too much it would ruin qualifying altogether. Therefore, I stayed behind my teammate who too stayed behind another teammate, therefore like this, I could gain a tow. After a few mediocre laps, I was going my fastest on the in lap. Due to this I chose to stay out and finish the lap, as my teammates pitted. Once crossing the line I was satisfied by my lap but didn’t think at all that it would give me a podium position. It turns out that the decision to stay out was what gave me my first P3 qualification result.
A bit in shock, I didn’t believe those around me that I had done that good, beating my teammates as well. But it turned out that the lap was as good as it was all along.
Approaching Race 1, I wasn’t nervous at all as I knew the speed was there and I was where I was for a reason. On the formation lap, rain started falling in the middle sector, especially near the Campus section. After a decent start, I lost position to my teammate who ran wide in corner 1. But the problem started on the Kemmel Straight where I got overtaken by three cars at once, and finally conceded the forth to my teammate who didn’t want to battle with me. Every position after that was lost on the same straight. Final position, P10.
Though it wasn’t the result that I had hoped for, I stayed true to myself and knew there wasn’t much more I could do.
Race 2 was expected to be tough. Starting in 18th I was aiming to be in the top 10. Through overtaking several cars, getting stuck behind others and avoiding collisions I found myself in 12th at the finish line. Though it isn’t a terrible result, I felt encaged in trains which I was a lot faster than.
By the time it was Race 3, I had analyzed potential reasons for why I could’ve lost time on the Kemmel Straight. Starting in 4th I had a mediocre start and immediately regained it through Eau Rouge, at the same time, my teammate Kaylen lost his front wing and pulled to the side, releasing me in 3rd position. But my brief excitement came to a quick end as 3 cars (including my teammate) went around the outside. In 6th, I was forced to defend for position but eventually got overtaken by the fastest driver of the race (Kiern Jewiss) on Kemmel once again.
In conclusion, the weekend was a step up from previous ones. But still, the results aren’t quite satisfactory yet.