A really good day today at Highlands for Qualifying 2, Race 2 and Race 3 in Round 1 of the Toyota Racing Series.
The forecast for today was for quite a bit of rain, but during Qualifying, though it was cool and cloudy, the track conditions were dry. Today there were no red flag incidents and we were able to get a good run in on the new tyres and I managed to take nearly a full second off my time yesterday with a 1:28.8. This put me in in P9 for Race 3, with the grid for Race 2 being determined by the finishing positions in Race 1.
Race 2 was dry and I got a great start from P11 to move up to P10 in the first sequence of corners. Then with Petrov hitting the wall a red flag was called which meant a re-start behind the safety car which again went well and over the course of the race I managed to move up to P8.
With 2 laps to go Lucas Auer had a big shunt into the wall at the final corner which we run within centimetres of at around 180kph each lap. The red flagged and ended the race, and meant that I finished in 7th position.
Right before Race 3 there was a tremendous downpour of rain and the track was very wet. All of the field were starting on wet tyres, and Race Control elected to start us behind the Safety Car. The problem was that as quickly as the rain had come in across the mountains, a completely clear sky was rolling in with strong winds as well.
I started the race well again holding my 9th position and looking to challenge American Cameron Das ahead of me. However, within 3 or 4 laps, we were already needing to find wet patches on the track to cool our tyres and we still had 16 laps to go! With 10 laps to go the track was completely dry.
With around 6 laps to go I moved up to 8th position but by then was really starting to struggle with overheating tyres (as I am sure was everyone else). For the remaining laps it was a case of managing the gap behind me to ensure that I could get the tyres through the race.
Having had to start Race 1 from the rear of grid due to the issue starting for the formation lap, this has been a very good weekend for the team and myself. We have started well and moved forward in every race without losing a position at any point.
Thank you to Bruin and all the team at MTEC Motorsport, Mick Kouros and of course my sponsors Lazersafe, High Energy Services, Online Logistics Solutions, Edith Cowan University, The Wealth Designers (TWD), Grand Toyota, Fullworks Firesafety, Rvend, Inspired Insurance Services, Walker Wayland WA, Signarama Joondalup, F45 Hillarys, Trizone and Focused Recruitment.
Thank you to my amazing team of investors behind my racing, and thanks to everyone who has supported me online over the weekend.
A couple of days off now in Queenstown, and then onto the next round at Invercargill Wednesday.