2012 – RD13&14 Rockingham Race Review
Rockingham is a pretty cool track. It is not peoples favourite but the driver and actually car can make a significant difference. It is far better to come here for the final round then the tow fest of Silverstone International South as we did in 2011.
The job this weekend was simple on paper. Don’t balls it up. We had two races and simply put we needed an 8th place in one of the races to get the job done.
Qualifying was on a drying track I have to say is one of my favourite conditions. The ability to go faster and faster as the session progresses is such a brilliant challenge it was without doubt my highlight of the weekend. We sat in the pitlane for a minute to get clear track position and then went for it instantly going quickest and pretty much holding that position for most of the session despite coming across other cars which burn your lap. With 5 minutes on the clock I had slipped to 3rd place and I really took a lot of time to get track position with nothing behind or infront of me and hooked up two laps quick enough for pole in the end taking it by 0.8 of a second. The video is below; you cannot really appreciate how damp the track is especially the second part of the oval.
So, my 5th pole from 7 meetings. A pretty good return by all accounts and one that set me up nicely for the race. Flick Haigh lined up second with Aaron Head (Supersport Champion) in 3rd, Mark Shaw 4th and Ian Payne 5th. The start of the race took forever to come round but fortunately the start was good and we rounded the first corner in the lead. Mark who had waited for 3 years to get a blinding start chose a good time jumping straight into 2nd behind me and we set about trying to break the pack. 5 laps in or so there was a small gap back to 3rd and Mark was closing in little by little on me. I really didn’t want to get into a fight slowing us both down so waived him past out of the first corner thinking we would tow each other clear whilst I looked after my tyres. As it was Mark was shifting at such a pace I’m not sure he wanted me back in front. Racing him seemed like a crazy thing to do given my position so I sat in behind him waiting to see if his tyres went off but they didn’t, or rather if they did no more than mine. The half an hour shot past and Mark took the chequered flag for his second victory of the season. I followed him home giving DPR another 1-2 finish in 2012 but more importantly my first championship title. Ian Payne finished 3rd some 10 seconds behind.
So, that was that….job done, finally champion! The last two round were really about not making any mistakes and taking the points which isn’t the most enjoyable way to race but the season aim was to win the title and sometimes you need to drive with your head more than you would like to.
Due to the way the rules work on dropped scores competing in the second race of the weekend isn’t a wise move so we watched that one from the pit wall. An epic battle ensued between Mark, Ian and Aaron Head with Ian taking the flag followed by Mark and Aaron. Another fantastic and clean R300 race. Mark Shaw just held onto second in the championship from Ian Payne, both of whom had fantastic seasons.
Not really sure what to do with the blog now……it has technically served its purpose charting the highs and lows of trying to win a championship over 2 years. Its with huge pride to say I’ve achieved my ambition and done it the right way. We finished the season from 13 races entered on 7 wins and 3 second places, the highest ever return in a single season of R300’s and in doing so raced and beat the R300 champions from 2009 and 2011 in one off appearances, touring car drivers and other highly respected racers from different series. It was been a massive effort for sure.
So that is that, 2012 is over! Wow that shot by. It only really leaves me to say thanks in equal measures to my wife who has had to put up with me, my Dad who has done so much to enable me keep the costs as low as possible as well as providing endless useful and also not so useful tips but not least the teams that supported me. SPY Motorsport in 2011 and DPR Motorsport in 2012. I couldn’t of done it without you.
I finally emulated my Dad who won his championship back in 1978. Happy days!
Posted on October 10, 2012, in Caterham, DPR Motorsport, Motorsport, Photography, Racing and tagged Caterham, Ian Payne, Mark Shaw, Paul Wilson, Pole Position, R300, Race, Rockingham. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.