Season in review – RD7 & 8 Rockingham

Rockingham at the start of July…my wifes birthday infact would prove to be where my season finally got under way……a little over due. I had missed Zolder at the start of June for 2 reasons. The biggest one was Caterham were still getting to the bottom of the mystery engine problems which they did, but also we had just moved house and the cost of renovations were already adding up! With the championship opportunity long since gone it didn’t seem worthwhile making the trip although my brother and dad did I spent that weekend shifting boxes!

Soon after Zolder my car made it back and I got to test at Rockingham for the first time. I have to say I love the track when really I had fairly low expectations of it (based on stories I’d heard) but what a cracker. The infield provides ample opportunity to make up plenty of time, and the mickey mouse chicane which is almost universally disliked I loved once I’d got my line and technique bang on. I’d managed to find out a few things about the track and the car come race weekend and the pace felt good. We knew both me and my team mate Simon Young were pretty much there on pace and so it was when we locked out the front row of the grid for SPY Motorsport. Fortunately I landed the pole 🙂

However, before I could start from pole we had the re-run of aborted race from Silverstone where I crashed. In a twist of irony I had to start from the back of the grid. With little expectations of where I would end up, and mindful I hadn’t seen a chequered flag since the previous October I had a great race and finished 8th. Watching the video back I enjoyed that race a lot.

Race two of the weekend was my pole race. Simon and I both made good starts but nowhere near as good as Jamie Ellwood or Jon Walker and I entered the hairpin in third. The first few laps I was happy to sit behind Jamie Ellwood, who whilst not being that quick made his car very wide. Keen not to attempt a move early in the race I went up and down from 2nd to 3rd and then I missed a gear over the start finish which lost another place or so. Still everything was going okay generally and I was watching my team mate try and overtake Ellwood going into the first turn past the banking I was, or so I thought minding my own business on the other side of the track. Unfortunately under braking Simon moved from the inside into the middle, and I moved from the outside into middle. I hadn’t counted on Simon coming as far across as he did, nor going as deep as he did which was where I was planning on putting my car and unfortunately I careered into him spinning us both round. It was a fairly big impact at the time, I was almost sure that was race over and that I’d done the radiator at least, but all I’d actually done apart from loosing a bunch of places was knock the tracking out and take off the towing eye! Simon apart from loosing places and a rear arch got off without damage, strong cars, although ultimately I could only bring the car home in 12th. A disappointment. If I could of got in front I would of been confident of running off and hiding, which was what race 1, and now race 2 winner Jon Walker was demonstrating nicely.

Race 3 I started from where I finished which wasn’t ideal, but I had a good start and a good race. Unfortunately I’d had to put on new tyres having killed them in the previous race and they were awful. I had no grip compared to normal and my pace evapourated, which makes the result even more entertaining. I finished third and a trip to the podium. Probably the least I could of hoped for from the weekend, but something was salvaged. In part due to others having crashes but a third is a third….. I shared the podium with Jon Walker (and reigning champ doing a part season) who completed an impressive hatrick and Trevor Fowell who would eventually go onto win the championship.

Least I felt I’d proved a few points….. (video at bottom)

About Paul Wilson

Having a father who raced and a passion for motorsport it was always an ambition to go racing at some point in my life. In my twenties I raced Motocross and Enduro with some success, but I moved onto 4 wheels in 2008 and have not looked back. 2014 will be with Aston Martin Racing in the Vantage GT3 at the VLN with Stuart Leonard. When I'm not racing, I generally spend my time working out how to go quicker and how I'm going to pay for it all......

Posted on December 1, 2010, in Caterham, Racing, the past, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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