Race 1 and 2 at Taupo

TRS Taupo , New Zealand, 02 February 2019. Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix

TRS Taupo , New Zealand, 02 February 2019. Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix

Once again clear weather at the track today, though much windier than it has been in previous days.

The day started with Qualifying 2 for the Race 2 grid and I managed a 1:24.1 which gave me P9 with times once again very tight through the field.

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Starting Race 1 from P7 on the grid I had a lot of wheelspin off the line and dropped a couple of places into turn 1. From there the majority of the race was very close and intense with myself being in a pack of 6 drivers all battling nose to tail.

Late in the race there was a safety car which left a 3 lap race to the line. On the restart, Petr Ptacek illegally passed me in the last chicane before the last corner. On a restart you are not allowed to pass before the line, but as we came into the last corner he was ahead of me and then almost lost control of his car on the exit onto the start finish straight directly in front of me. This then held me up and allowed Petru Florescu to pass me down the straight and into the first corner.

I immediately managed to pass Petru back, and Ptacek must have been instructed over the radio to give me back the position. In doing so, I think quite a few other drivers in the close pack must have got through him also as he finished well down the field. Meanwhile I finished Race 1 in 8th.

TRS Taupo , New Zealand, 02 February 2019. Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix

TRS Taupo , New Zealand, 02 February 2019. Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix

Race 2 I started from P8 and also unfortunately suffered with wheelspin off the line dropping to 12th position as a couple of drivers in particular around me got away to very quick starts. Throughout the course of the race I battled hard and managed to fight my way back to 9th position on this circuit where overtaking is reasonably difficult.

In the closing stages I got into a fairly intense battle with Cameron Das who had been working his way up the field behind me. Just before the last lap he managed to get past me, though he had a damaged front wing. Coming into the last complex of corners I had a run on him and was moving to take the position back. At the same time he had been shown the mechanical flag for his damaged wing and had to pull in to the pits. I expected him to pull to the side as I went past, however he slowed up quite suddenly meaning that I clipped the his rear tyre damaging my front wing.

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Fortunately this was the final corner however, so I was able to continue without issue and finish in 8th place.

Tomorrow morning we have Qualifying 3 which will determine the grid for Race 4 tomorrow, and then Race 3 in which I will start P8 based on my finish position in Race 2. Thank you to all of the team at MTEC Motorsport, and looking forward to racing tomorrow.

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