Goff Shows Pace
Round 2 of the Championship came around fast after My debut at Brands Hatch. After what was basically a shake down at Brands, We had managed to get to Silverstone for a Test day before the next races at Donington Park. This helped us massively to iron out the issues they had had at Brands with the new car.
Going into Free Practice this time at Donington I was feeling a lot more relaxed, as I had now drove the car and knew how it handled.
FP1 got underway and we started the session by scrubbing in race tyres for Sunday. Once this was done, the plan was to complete a race run to gain some valuable experience.
The run started positively with Me improving my times every lap. On lap 6 however when I entered Turn 1 I hit the brake pedal, but to my surprise it went straight to the floor and I had to take action to avoid running into the back of Frank Wrathall, who had just left the pit lane.
On inspection the team traced the problem to a split brake line inside the car. With 15 minutes of the session still to go, that was it for us and the team.
We pulled the car into the garage and got straight to work to fix the line for FP2.
FP2 started with me scrubbing in my final set of race tyres for Sunday. Once this was complete it was time for a qualifying run.
This went well with us moving up the time sheets every lap. I pitted with 4 minutes to go, in p11.
Two drivers improved on their last laps demoting me to p13, but it was still a good first attempt at a qualifying run.
Heading into qualifying the RCIB Insurance Racing Team and I were feeling confident of a top 10 position and after the first half of the session We were sitting in p14.
In the second part of qualifying I encountered some traffic on my best lap. Unfortunately this was not good enough to move me up the grid and I ended the session in p19.
This wasnâ€™t exactly how we had imagined the session to go, but there were still some positives to be taken from it. Also, we had a good race pace so we were confident of moving forward.
Starting from p19, I was hoping to move forward at the start. As the lights went green it was apparent that one too many practice starts on the green flag lap had over heated the clutch, and I ended up falling to p26 into the first corner due to a slipping clutch.
From this point it was a matter of picking off the places one by one. At the flag it was p18 which wasnâ€™t a bad end to an eventful first race.
Starting from p18 My aim was to move forward again. This time I was to start on the soft compound tyres, which had been the slower tyre over the weekend.
Off the line I made a good start holding position into Turn 1. As the first lap finished I slotted into p17 and by the mid point of the race I was improving with every lap, passing Nick Foster in his BMW into p16.
In the last 7 laps I improved my position by two more places to cross the finish line in p14. This was a great result, and to further please me and the team the lap times were very consistent and close to those of the top 5 cars.
As We lined up for the final race I was feeling very confident of a solid top 10 finish. The bad news was as the lights went out I instantly realised we were down on power so radioed to the team to let them know.
We decided to stay out even though the car was down on power by around 40bhp. I defended all I could, but had to settle for p16 at the flag.
This was an unfortunate way to end as the car had been so reliable all weekend, however we took a lot of positives from the meeting.
The car had shown a huge amount of progress since Brands Hatch and there was certainly a big improvement in reliability.
The pace the car showed at times over the weekend is very exciting for the rest of the year.
We now head to the super fast Thruxton circuit where we will be looking for further improvements.
I would like to thank all of my guests and supporters who came along to Donington to support me and to everyone at Team RCIB Insurance Racing for their help over the weekend.