|Posted by Nathan Ward on August 4, 2010 at 4:35 PM|
Little did I know when lining up in the formation area at Castle Combe, that I was about to experience the most action packed qualifying session of my life. Starting second and with a clear track ahead of me I was able to get up to speed quickly and start banging in consistent, fast lap times. This was just as well because from lap 3 onwards there were yellow flags for a car stranded at Quarry, then oil went down on lap 4, then there was a car parked on the exit kerb so double waved yellows were deployed followed by the safety car and finally a red flag on lap 7.
With all the excitement and back markers at every corner, I was not surprised that my fastest lap was only my second lap on the circuit. I managed to qualify 7th overall and a fantastic 2nd in class.
The atmosphere at the circuit was fantastic as Castle Combe was celebrating its 60th year as one of the UK’s foremost racing venues. With a party in the evening it was clear to see how many people appreciate the great work done by the owners and organisers of this fantastic race club.
The race on Sunday was just as exciting. After a blistering start I was forced to take to the grass as the car I was alongside was not keen to let me past, but this only cost me one position. After pushing too hard on cold tyres and running wide coming out of the final corner on the last lap, I was pipped to the first corner by the two cars following me, pushing me back to 10th position and 4th in class. I was able to hold on to the back of the lead pack and after an accident called for the safety car to be deployed I was given a brief moment to rethink my strategy for the rest of the race.
At the restart I was able to time my start beautifully and was up to 7th by the first corner and closing in fast on 6th. If I could make the pass and get to 6th position then I knew I would finish 3rd in class and retain my 2nd position in the class championship.
On the final corner of the restarted lap I put my car to the inside and waited for the other driver to brake. I was able to slip through and then set about closing the gap to the drivers in front.
I quickly caught up and was looking for a way past, but was very aware that I cannot afford a DNF at this stage of the championship, so I settled down and was happy to see the chequered flag.