Knockhill Blog 2017
We started the weekend with 13th fastest time in the opening practice session which was run in wet but drying conditions, meaning that the team had to adapt our Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class to the changing track surface. Excellent eighth fastest time in the second, dry, practice session before a heavy rain shower soaked the circuit for qualifying.
As the road dried, I had a lap time disallowed as I was adjudged to have exceeded track limits so had to try again for a good grid position, but there was little chance of getting a clear lap in as 32 cars fought across the 1.27 mile track. As the road dried, the team changed the car to run on dry weather tyres, but in the haste an error was made which left the car on a wet setting with a disconnected anti-roll bar. That made the car very difficult to rive and I finished up 27th fastest and with rather a task ahead of me on raceday.
Raceday didn’t start well. Thinking ahead, we had put an old front bumper on the car because I knew I was going to be pushing hard! However, the car felt strange — it wouldn’t turn, it wouldn’t brake, so we needed to have a look at the set-up before race two. It was really difficult, and I am not sure why because the car felt brilliant a few weeks ago in testing. So I am not sure what had happened or why.
Although 26th on the grid for race two, the car felt better, and I forced my way through to 15th place on what is a very short and narrow track.
Thus I started the final race 15th on the grid and started battling up the order. However, as the race wore on, some of the rear-wheel drive cars, well suited to Knockhill, that had started behind me began to find their pace.
So, a second 15th place finish of the day, in a 32-strong grid.
It was a tough weekend; we need to have a look at the data and work out what has happened. The car has had its problems this weekend and that can happen in this championship because the cars operate in a narrow sweet spot. However, we know we have the ability to win races as we showed at Donington, so we need to analyse what has changed. Everyone in the team is committed to getting back at the front of the grid and we will bounce back. With it being my home event, I have had so much support this weekend and that is really encouraging and I am eager to pay back the fans, sponsors and the whole team with more podium finishes and wins before the end of the season.
See you all at Rockingham, Northamptonshire, on August 26/27.