Once again it was a fine and warm day at Silverstone, and our qualifying session was at 9am which was almost an hour earlier than Saturday. The first half of the session went very well once again on my first set of tyres, and at the mid point when all were in the pits I was sitting at 4th on the timesheets.
The second set of tyres was very interesting with the team releasing me with around 8 mins to go and right behind championship leader Drugovich. On my first flying lap I set my quickest first sector for the weekend and then Drugovich held back slightly through the chicane. I positioned to pass, however he squeezed over toward the centre of the track which baulked my lap.
Fortunately I was able to follow up with another good lap and for the second time in succession qualified in the top 5.
In the race I got away to a good start and held 5th position through the first couple of corners, but dropped one down the hanger straight, but very nearly managed to fight and take it back into the following chicane. In a three way battle down the next straight, I attempted to hold a position around the outside but that left me on a part of the circuit which I now know was lacking grip. As a result I had to run wide and rejoin the race in the pack in 9th. I quickly regained a position with a good move around the outside of last year’s winner Alex Karkosik to move up to 8th.
For the next 14 laps I drove well, challenging Baltas ahead of me, whilst keeping Karkosik behind to finish in 8th position.
Overall, I am very pleased with my performance in qualifying, especially considering that I had less practice than at any other round, with just two sessions on the Friday and having never driven on the circuit prior to that. It shows that I am developing the ability to come to grips with circuits in short periods of time, which is vital to moving forward. There is still room for improvement on the first couple laps, where positions lost are very difficult to regain later in the race. Once I improve on the opening laps, I feel I will be able to challenge for even higher results, which will certainly be the focus of my preparation going into Monza.
Thanks to Mick, Tom, Gerard, Charlie along with all of the team at Fortec for the amazing car to drive, and all of the great work over the weekend.
Thank you to my team of investors behind my racing, and of course my sponsors Lazersafe, High Energy Service, Rosehill Waters, TWD, ES2, Edith Cowan University, Kingsway Community Bank Branch, Grand Toyota, Fullworks Firesafety, Rvend, Inspired Insurance Services, Online Logistics Solutions, Walker Wayland, Focused Recruitment, Signarama Joondalup, F45 Hillarys and Trizone Fitness.
With so many family and friends in the UK, this round felt like a home race and it was incredible the number of people who made the trek from all over the country to support and come and see me race, along with Jim who was over from Perth! I can’t tell you all how much that meant to me and that in itself was an amazing experience.