Daytona D60 – First Winter Race
After 4 months without racing I have started 2013 with nice Sunday race at Daytona Sandown. My first race during the winter, dump and cold weather with very slippery track.
The day started well as I got to drive to the track instead of doing the usual bus+train combo I was used to. A very pleasant drive from Putney with no traffic at all.
I got to the track and the first thing I tried to do was to analyse the track condition, it looked dump and cold but I thought it would be dry in areas after 15 laps. There was a group of about 12 unexperienced drivers and I thought that could be a challenging race if taking in consideration the weather condition.
Qualifying was okay, I didn’t manage to put a good time as there were too many yellow flags and the chances of getting a nice clean lap were reduced to zero. Never mind, managed to start in 13th (car 23).
Start wasn’t good and I lost a couple of positions due to my weight compared to the lightweight drivers behind me but with an accident happening in the very first corner I was now down to 12th position. I was driving carefully at this first lap as I didn’t want to ruin my race by spinning or crashing into someone accidentally, so laptime was 1:05:752. At the very last corner of the first lap I was nearly hit by another driver trying to out break me. Watch for the car 23 (myself) in the video. Second lap was 1:01:992.
My race developed pretty well and I was taking an average of 0.3 of a second per lap and having some great heats against a couple of lightweights ahead of me. Unfortunately as the track started to dry out (lap 30) they became faster and I lost the link. By that time my laptime was 0:59:392.
There was a lot of bumping going on, even by the more experienced drivers which were avoiding to brake on those slippery conditions. At lap 45 I was still in 12th position, 3rd in the heavy weight category and I was black flagged and accused to force other drivers out of the track. Proper bullshit as I have done it once and the driver only went out of the track because he decided not to reduce the speed as I closed the gap way before the corner. Yes I did leave my racing line to defend my position from a car coming in the inside line, but that was it.
Anyway, I lost 7 positions during my stop at the pit lane and also the chance to be celebrating my first podium at the championship.
Fastest lap was the very last one at 00:54:051.