Deluge and Dry at Donington on the Way to the Championship
MSA British Dunlop Endurance Championship
Ferrari 458 GTC
Thursday testing brought terrible weather but we stuck to and worked on the set up to give us a superb car in probably the most slippery conditions I have ever driven in.
With a day away in between we reconvened for a packed day of qualifying and racing on Saturday. Again the weather was pretty awful with no change in prospect as qualifying approached. I went out first to put in a banker and was initially on pole. However the track was improving quickly despite an enormous amount of oil deposited over the entire lap by a classic car in the previous session. David went next and completed his qualifying without incident. By then the track had evolved considerably and I went back out to see what it was like. Slippery did not cover it and pushing hard was a very high risk situation. The last few laps were the quickest but I had heavy traffic and, not risking all due to our championship situation ended up 4th overall. This was satisfactory with two GT3 cars ahead, leaving us in a good position for the race start.
Still with a very slippery track the red lights went out and I gunned it on the run to Redgate. Outbraking the P2 and P3 cars to slot into second behind the BMW Z4 GT3. The track was still incredibly slippery and I had a huge moment into Old Hairpin on the first lap!! This allowed a BMW M3 past but I gave chase and soon regained the position. Then I had the Z4 GT3 in my sights and gradually pulled him in. 30 minutes in I could see his tyres were beginning to fade and I got right up onto the rear of the car. After a good tussle I managed to cut up the inside out of Redgate and we ran side by side down Craner Curves. Usually there is enough space to do this but a gentle touch sent the Z4 GT3 spinning off soon to rejoin.
Pushing hard to the end of my stint the team called me in and as usual did a fantastic pit stop and sent David on his way. With a drying track and deteriorating wets David did his usual great job and brought the car home 3rd in class and 4th overall. A very exciting race with our sights set on the Championship.
Only 2 hours later we were on again for race 2. By then it had dried out completely and I set off on brand new slicks with only one warm up lap to try to scrub them in a bit. This worked and again from P4 on the grid I came out of Redgate 2nd behind the BMW Z4 GT3. Pushing hard and contrary to expectation I stayed with the Z4 for 10 or 15 laps. Eventually his superior aero and grip took him away but we were in a solid P2. Again pit stop time came amazingly quickly and after another faultless stop by the team David set off to complete the race which ran into the dark. This was his first experience of night racing and with minimum risk brought us home P3 in class and P4 overall to seal the overall 2015 MSA British Dunlop Endurance Championship for the second year running!!
Another amazing year's racing, fantastic work from the FF Corse Team and another British Championship win. Many thanks to David and the whole FF Corse team. Brilliant!!
And so to next year. Watch this space for a very exciting announcement.......