Wilmeys BlogThe snetterton race weekend in the VW Cup was touch or go if I was going to do it or not due to a difficultly in finding a tyre budget but out of the blue and a small disagreement later Tony Gilham came up with a great idea to get me out on track. So the deal was done and the weekend arrived and I was feeling really confident. I left home on Saturday morning at 1am and arrived at the circuit just before 3am as I had to stop 3 times because the road was becoming blurred from heavy eye lids. When I arrived I fell asleep in my cand and was rudely awoken at 7am by a stroppy wife, so not much more than 3 1/2 hrs sleep. I thought I could have some kind of lay in as we was not qualifying until 17:10 and the whole day was free apart from signing on at 12:00.
The weather started out sunny but the rain was on its way and and fast so we were ready with the wets. From 11am it rained and rained then at 16:00 it stopped so the track conditions were drying but not very fast so it was a tough call for tyres. I chose to go out on full wets and for the first 3 laps I was in the top 5 but as the conditions got better I got slower so I came on for slicks on the front and to keep wets on the rear. After leaving the pits with what I thought would be better was actually worse because with a bit of confusion the pit team put slicks on the tear of the car too which I was not ready for and did not have the time to get heat in to them before the session ended so alas we dropped to p16 for race 1 on Sunday. I was not best pleased bit was still feeling confident for a top 10 finish.
Sunday morning, and I was feeling great, good sleep and optimistic for good finishes.
Race 1 I got a good start and managed to make 3 places by turn 2 and was all over my next target by lap 2 who had crept away while I was fighting with the cars I had past earlier in the first lap. Half way through the race I had got myself to p9 and was chasing down 8th place who was a long way in front but I managed to catch him by the last lap and was rudely blocked across the start finish line to keep my 9th position at the chequered flag.
The car was faultless and the setup was strong so no changes for race 2 and we were to stay on the same tyres as what we finished on in race 1.
Race 2 I got off to a good start and was p7 before lap 2 there was some pushing and shoving up front and 2cars went off in 2 different places which promoted me to 5th but shortly after I overtook the race 1 winner for 4th position and fast chasing down the top 3. As I got on the tail of 3rd with over 5 laps to go and with strong thoughts of actually winning the race my car lost all gears leaving me stranded at the side of the track absolutely gutted. After the race ended and I was towed back to the team lorry we shortly learned that the linkage bolt had completely undone and the linkage had come away from the gearbox.
Mechanical issues happen in racing but I wish it wasn't then as it was going to be my first podium I'm sure of the Vw cup. As everyone is now saying "it will be my turn soon".
The team an my mechanic Phil was awesome and I really had a good weekend and have taken away all the positives and look forward to SPA in 4 weeks.