P6 after a difficult race at Spa
After a race punctuated by drive throughs, full course yellows and being stuck behind an LMP3 car, we did well to finish in P6 on the lead lap.
We qualified in P7 with one 3 lap run on medium tyres, others went for 2 sets of tyres. The car felt good for the race and we were optimistic of a competitive showing.
Unfortunately after an excellent start where he was up to P4, Rodrigo had a coming together with an LMP3 car half way round lap one and, after skillfully reversing out of the gravel, resumed without losing much time. He set off after the pack and soon closed the gap when a safety car was called. Rodrigo was in P7 for most of his stint and dropped to P9 after a drive through penalty for the opening lap incident.
I took over the car on lap 43 and after a few laps was running in P6. I had a good battle with the number 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari until it was interrupted by a full course yellow where they took the opportunity to stop for fuel and fresh tyres. While this was happening, we were notified of a 20 second penalty for an earlier full course yellow infringement from the opening hours which would be taken at our next stop.
When the full course yellow was removed, I found myself behind a slower LMP3 car, who, in spite of being a lap down, was refusing to let me past. I spent the best part of 25 minutes ducking and diving trying to get by but, as he was quicker in a straight line and was working hard to keep me back, I strayed outside track limits a few times in my efforts to get by and incurred a drive through penalty. Race control intervened and instructed the P3 car to let me by - he eventually moved out of the way and my lap times immediately improved substantially - but I had lost a lot of time and had been caught again by the number 60 car. All very frustrating but I handed over to Andrea Fontana in P6 which he held to the flag.
Somehow after all the holdups and penalties and a messy race we were still on the lead lap after 4 hours and scored decent points, so it’s on to Portimao for the final round.