Fortunately the rain managed to stay away for Qualifying in the morning Saturday at the Red Bull Ring for Round 6 of the Euroformula Open Championship. On my first run of tyres I managed to set a competitive time of 1:25.5 to have me in P4 at the half way point which was the first focus in case rain did eventuate during the session.
On the second set of tyres I was pleased to find even more pace to post a 1:24.4 which placed me in P5 and only 4 tenths off the Pole Position time. For my first time at the circuit, we were very pleased with this result and the team at Fortec have prepared an amazing car for me to drive.
The start of Race 1 was incredibly intense. Firstly the driver of P2 jumped the start, but I got away well off the line. Into turn 1 I ducked to the inside and managed to avoid cars touching in front of me. Down the back straight the field was extremely congested and we bunched into a drag race almost 4 cars wide. Into the hard braking I set up to the outside of the pack and managed to make a move hard on the brakes gaining two positions.
From there we raced at I was holding 3rd position when a safety car was called. At the restart I got away OK, but eventually lost out after a battle with the driver behind to move to 4th place.
Through the race I pushed as hard as I could, and was staying within touch of the Lukas Dunner as we pulled a large gap to the cars behind. Then, with around 6 laps to go I was advised that Dunner had received a 3 sec penalty for exceeding track limits repeatedly, so if I could finish within 3 secs of him then I would finish in 3rd. This was always going to be a big challenge given this is Dunner’s home circuit.
In the end I narrowly missed out finishing just over 4 seconds behind Dunner in 4th place, but 9 secs ahead of those behind, so we were all very pleased with my best international finish so far.
Focus is now on Sunday, and to build from here even further, but a huge thank you to all of the team at Fortec Motorsport who continue to produce me an incredible car to drive. Looking forward to Sunday.