Racing with Julian Thomas in his stunning low drag light weight E Type Jaguar at Portimao was a prospect with much joy! We set off a bit early to make the most of the trip and enjoy some great seafood and warm sunshine.
Portimao October 29/30 2016
It was quite a spread out programme but we weren't complaining as it gave us time to chill out as well. So Thursday testing was upon us and we were quickly into the groove and setting great times. Pole 2 years before (last year was wet) was a 2.09.1 and we were already under that. Little did we know at that point the year before had seen pole at a 2.07.9. Some work to do then.
Friday gave us just one 30 minute session and Julian used that to good effect and lowered the times again.
Saturday, still dry and warm, was qualifying day. Julian went first and set a blistering 2.07.4 for provisional pole. I took over and was purple in sector 1 and 2. Unfortunately traffic intervened and the lap was lost. Never mind, we were sitting on pole by over a second!!
The 2 hour race was due to start at 1000 and Julian duly led off on the warm up lap. Always cautious at the start, he was pulling away by the start of lap 3 and the gap grew and grew. This was looking good! And then disaster struck! Coming out of the hairpin, 40 minutes in and 5 minutes before then start of my stint, a drive shaft sheared and despite an heroic effort by Julian to get the car back to the pits we were out of the race.
A great disappointment but nevertheless a great week end in Portimao. Next year!!