Rudds Silverstone Race Report
So onto Silverstone for Rounds 7 & 8 of the VW Cup Championship. Unfortunately we only got 5 laps practise on the Friday as Silverstone had not kept any spaces for VW testing. Although it was not many laps and it was raining, we managed to shake the car down and iron out any small issues that appeared.
We only had qualifying on Saturday and that was not until 16:35 so there was plenty of time to have a look at some footage from last year, ensure that the car was setup correctly and also put on the new stickers for the weekend.
As qualifying approached, we could see that the weather was going to be sunny and I decided that I wanted to be first out on track, so got down to the holding area an hour early! The advantage that I see from being out first is that you don’t get caught up with other people and can run to my own schedule. I managed to a bit of a gap on the cars behind and set out for my first flying lap. I had a slight wobble through the fast Maggotts/Becketts complex which lost me alot of time and I had to back out and start again. I felt that I had a good session and managed a P10 for Race 1. Objective complete.
After qualifying, we had a quick de-brief and sat down with all the team to have some dinner. As we had an early start the next day, we headed back to the hotel reasonably early to get a good night’s rest.
We woke up on Sunday and as predicted, it had rained overnight. Being one of the first races out I knew that we would have, at least, a damp track - which is favourable for me. I got to the track around 8am and welcomed all my guests that had come down for the race day. At 09:25 we were called down to the collection area ready for Race 1.
I got a good start and managed to make a few places on the first few corners. As we approached the end of the straight, I made a move and lost some time on the exit of the corner, and the pack bunched up behind me. There were a few optimistic moves from the guys behind that put me off-line and as we got to the next corner I had contact with another car, putting me into a spin and stalling the car. The side of the car was dented in and the steering was damaged. I got the car going again and just took it easy to get to the finish and pick up some points.
This meant that for race 2 I would be starting on the 2nd to last row in 25th position.
It was a long wait until the second race which was at 17:25. This gave us time to repair the car and have some lunch and refreshments before getting ready for the second race.
Starting right at the back meant that I had nothing to lose and we decided to run old tyres. I got a good start and starting picking people off quite quickly. The issue with starting so far back is that the top 10 can get build a gap that is impossible to catch after just a few laps. I managed to get to P13 by the end of the race, which was a solid performance considering the dramas of race 1.
So we are the midpoint of the season and so far I think that it is fair to say it has been a tough start to 2015. We have had our fair share of bad luck but looking at the positives we have had our highest ever quali and race finishes.
Next stop is Spa on 10/11 July
As always, a huge thanks to all my friends and family, the team and the sponsors that make all this possible.