Formula First Round 2 - Pukekohe
07/09 December 2018
A weekend of highs and lows for me at Round 2 of the Championship at Pukekohe.
Friday's practice went great, the car was fast after the engine work done by Steve King so I knew we had good pace for the weekend.
Qualifying on Saturday morning ended up being a stop and go affair with two red flags in the session. This meant that I lost a lot of time on track but I was able to get one clear lap and post the third quickest time which meant I would start race 1 on P3.
Race 1 started well and I was in the leading group for all of the race but on the final lap heading to the finish line I was hit by another car and sent into the concrete wall at 160kph. The car bouncd off the wall and spun across the track in front of the rest of the field. Time slowed right down as I watched the finishing cars dodge me as I spun in front of them. Taylor Hurst came the closest to hitting me and also ended up in the wall righting his car off and damaging his wrist. My car had a lot of axle damage and 2 flat tyres and stopped just 10 metres from the finishing line. I was able to restart the car and crawl across the line on 2 wheels which meant I finshed 13th and got some Championship points rather than a DNF which gets you none. The driver who hit my car got a 30 second penalty and a fine.
The car had axle and sway bar damage and I thought my weekend was over with gearbox fluid spewing everywhere but thanks to a lot of effort from a lot of people the car was repaired overnight and we were all able to make the Formula First 50th celebration dinner which was being held that evening. A big thanks from me to everyone involved in the repairs. This once again showed what a great class this is to be a part of.
In race 2 on Sunday morning the car felt good after the repairs and was once again in the leading group. Again I had an incident in the final lap and finished 7th.
Things were not quite going my way but I knew I had a fast car and if I kept my focus things would improve.
Race 3 saw me again in the front group. This weekend we were racing the full Pukekohe back straight which meant drafting and tactics were critical and resulted in a lot of lead changes. I felt I was in a real good position for a podium in this race and with 2 laps to go a safety car was brought onto the track. The race finished under the safety car and I kept my second position.
So after a crash and a couple of incidents I ended the round with a 13th, 7th and a 2nd. I have retained my third position in the Championship and we now have a Christmas break and will be back on the track at Hampton downs late January.
Im heading to the Hokianga for Christmas with my family. I hope everyone has an enjoyable Christmas break and a happy new year.
Thanks for all your support.
Photo Credit- Jim Frazer and Zara Dickson