Posted by Nathan Ward on April 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM
The first race of the season was always going to be one full of nerves and excitement. All four cars in the team awning had changed their image and I was determined for it to be a fresh start for me as well.
After the joys of signing on and scrutineering at 7:00am, there was a short wait until the cars were called up for qualifying.
I was able to find an early gap and set a really good first lap out which proved vital as the session unfolded because on lap 3 oil started to leak onto the track and many drivers found themselves battling for grip. A battle which many drivers lost as cars were falling off all over the place, so much so that a safety car was deployed to prevent any drivers being unaware of the oil locations. Racing started again but with only two laps left, it proved difficult to get times down even though the pace had slowed.
The result of the fast, early lap was that I had qualified in 9th place overall and a fantastic 2nd in class. This was my best ever class qualification and filled me with a great deal of confidence.
After a half hour grid walk, where spectators were invited to view the cars on the start line, we were ready to go racing.
I managed to get off the grid well and sped up to the first corner hot on the heels of the cars in front of me. I was running in a solid 9th place until technical complications slowed my progress and on lap 11 of 12 I was forced to 10th, and critically 4th in class. Without the ability to fight back, I drove a tactical last lap to prevent further losses and crossed the line in 10th position and 4th in class.
This was a fantastic result and really makes me think that with the knowledge I have now, I can progress even further during this year and compete with the leaders from now on.