Spa Francorchamps June 2011 Race 2
Report from Team OFARC driver Dax Ward.
The day before was race 1, which was extra special for me as I won my class and finished very close to actually winning. I had a fantastic few duals with Dan Clowes, Peter Venn and Blockers in very wet typical Spa conditions.
So waking up Sunday I still had an ear to ear grin on my face, but I also knew that this race was going to be very tough, not only because I started 10th, but because my team mate, Marc Fortune, was starting on pole.
For once the weather looked like it was going to stay dry, so off we went to the grid on slick tyres. As the Jedi is very close to running out of fuel in a 25 min race, I have to drive very conservatively to the grid in 6th gear preserving all the fuel I can. We could not get any fuel usage data for the dry all weekend, as it had rained in every other session. So we hoped we would have enough. I took my place on the grid.
The minute board counted down and at 1 minute I fired the engine up and prepared to get off for the green flag lap behind the safety car. I thought before if I get a great start we should get a podium, but the places had to be made up on that first race lap. Off we went behind the safety car, as we went through Blanchimont we bunched up closer two abreast ready for the start. We rounded the Bus Stop chicane, approached the lights and off they went. I immediately switched sides to the pit wall and made up three places by La Source. On the run to Eau Rouge I got past another car. Up to Les Combes I was behind Jason Timms in his new Speads, I had to get past and I did so under brakes for the first right hander. So that was 5th and Chris Dittman was in front now. I could also see the leaders so had to get past, I braked very late and the car got very loose, credit to Chris he saw this and a near miss was missed. So 4th by turn 8, Bruxelles. Pouhon is my favourite corner on this circuit and that let me make up some ground before Fagnes. The first part is a right hander the second is the left hander. The right hander went well but I overdrove the left hander, ran wide over the kerb over the run off and back over the kerb onto the track. The next two corners the car felt a bit loose but I put that down to dirty tyres. Blanchimont was were I realised I had a broken car; the first part was easily flat, the second suddenly was not easily flat and I had to correct with lots of opposite lock. I thought something was loose on the rear suspension so slowed a bit. Then the madness kicked in and I decided to carry on.
For 3 laps I wrestled with the car, it had so much oversteer, it actually handled better in the wet the day before. I had no idea what was wrong with it, in the end I decided the rear tyres were just too hot and over pressured so I continued. Blockers got by me at Pouhon as I went went wide, then Graham Dyson in his Jedi caught me up. For 4 laps I kept him at bay, and it was getting really difficult. 3 laps from the end my car then decided she was going to run out of fuel. So I short shifted and 2 laps from the end Graham got past me to drop me to 5th overall and 4th in class. I just wanted to finish, anything can go wrong ahead of me and you have to be in it sometimes. 1 lap later Graham slowed and stopped, my car was coughing and spluttering, and on the long drag up the hill to the Bus Stop Pete Bragg and Chris Dittman got past me. As I entered the bus stop my car hardly had any power so on the exit I saw the flag and dropped her into neutral and coasted across the line to finish 7th overall and 3rd in class.
When I got back to the pits I realised what damage I had done to my car. I had ripped off the rear part of the floor and this was hanging loosely, thus resulting in massive loss of grip to the rear. I also had a leaky diff for a reason unknown as I type and the coughing and spluttering was in fact a misfire and not a lack of fuel.
So a really eventful race, which was still enjoyable, and a great result for Team OFARC with Marc getting 2nd overall just behind Dan Clowes. So Team OFARC secured 2,3 and 4th in class with Dan Levy in 4th.
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover.