Oulton Park 2 July 2011 - 1000 class from Dax Ward's Cockpit
Here is Dax's race report, to go with the video which is now featured on Racing Exposure.
Oulton Park is one of my favourite circuits, I love the constant undulations, the flowing corners and the great scenery, in some places you cannot believe there is a circuit in the view ahead.
Qualifying went terribly, for some reason I suffered a reccurence of the misfire, and also my new under tray, replaced from Spa, came loose. So I just concentrated on getting a bad time in and retired the car on the Fosters circuit. I knew I had lots of work to do to get the car ready for the race so I knew any time would be better than no time, as I could not guarantee I could show the CoC I could drive the circuit behind a safety car. So I was to start dead last, but starting anywhere would be a bonus at this stage.
The team discovered that we had a sensor issue that had caused the ECU to go into limp mode, we fixed this, the under tray and the leaky diff just in time to get out. I was very glad we had such a gap between the two sessions. So I joined the assembly area in dead last, 25th position and I hoped that on the green flag lap the car would prove to be fixed, and it did.
As I lined up on the grid, I remembered saying to the team if I were to get near my team mate, Marc, that I would have to be in the top 10 by the end of the first lap. I was joking of course, but I had nothing to lose. As the lights went red, I got ready to pull away, I could see a gap to the right and took it, hugged the pit wall, I have no idea how many cars I got by. I got to the first corner held back a bit to save my wing, I had no idea where other cars were, I was in the thick of the action. There were some great dices going on between the classes and credit to you all, no dramas at the first bend. Everyone got through. Down to Cascades I tried to pass a car, but backed off, got by it before Island, got another round Shell, another before the chicane, I had to get a move on and the car was working for the first time since the class victory at Spa. I got Bragg on the way to Old Hall, and at the end of the first lap had made 8th position, I had no idea where I was, I just had to overtake some more as I could not see my team mate yet. I got Fern at turn 1, and after Shell could see Brooks, Rawlings, And Timms. I worked out that I was 7th, and 4th was up for grabs if I could catch up. One lap later I got onto the back of the train, I got past Brooks after Shell, although I think he was being a gentleman as he is not in the championship hunt, thank you sir. Rawlings was a bit tougher to get by up the hill and as I crossed the line on lap 3 was up to 5th overall. At this time I could feel a heavy vibration from the drivetrain, which I knew was my Quaife diff minus oil. I was not sure I could make the finish now. After Knickerbrook on the way down the hill I managed to get by Timms in his Speads, driving very well I might add for only his 2nd time out in it. Shortly after that I passed Marc as he slowed to retirement, so I had 3rd and a dream podium.
After this I maintained the gap to 4th and just concentrated on getting the car home. When the chequered flag came down it was almost as good as any win I have had, 25th to 3rd and 30 overtakes including lapped cars. What a great result. So I'm in the title hunt still.
Please can I have a simple race weekend at Brands Hatch!!!!!!
Words by Dax Ward, Pictures by Simon Davey
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover.
"I knew I had lots of work to do to get the car ready for the race."