Round 1 Wrap Up for Dale Wood
I was certainly a bit anxious going into practice one for a mix of reasons. Any lap around the Adelaide street circuit is busy, let alone when it’s a new 911 GT3 Porsche that I’m still not all that familiar in.
It was nice to finish the session reasonably competitive in P4. There is a mix of 26 drivers in this category with the Pro’s and Amateurs so it’s often a battle getting a clean lap and not coming across traffic.
I went into practice 2 far more comfortable and able to start playing with the setup of the car and trying to improve on where we started. By the end of that session we were 3rd overall and had a good idea of what we needed to do going in to Qualifying on Friday morning.
Qualifying was busy as expected to trying to get a clean lap with all the cars out there. After struggling to get a clean run and sitting 4that the time my engineer told me on the radio I had enough time to do one more lap, unfortunately I started that lap a little close to one of the Amateur lads and had to pass him going into turn 4 which after checking our data cost us 4 tenths of second in that sector, I went on to set the fastest second and third sector which was good enough to put us P2 at the end of qualifying. All in all I was very happy with a front row start.
Race 1, saw us off the line well and able to make the 911 Porsche about 4 meters wide into turn 1 and came out the other side of turn 2 with the lead. We battled low tyre pressures for the race (something we’re still learning) but was able to hold off Jaxon Evans and finish my first ever Carrera Cup race in P1….
Race 2, I pulled up on pole and had my sights set firmly on winning the race instead of getting the car off the line well and taking care of the rest turn by turn, lap by lap. As a result of that I F*#ked up the start, launched the car off the turn 2 kerb and dropped back to 6th, not to mention putting a scratch on the awesome wrap I spent too long on a week ago. I then got my shit together after a couple laps and started on the charge back setting a new lap record on the way. However 2 kerb hops then delivered me a post-race 5 second penalty that then dropped me to 7th.
Race 3, I got my starts sorted again and held position off the line, threw a tight move on Moffat in turn 5 and after a safety car and race that was cut very short I wasn’t able to achieve anymore so finished up in P6.
Overall we now sit 4th in the championship. After Fridays great start this isn’t where I’d like to be sitting but there’s plenty of positives to be taken away from it all. I’ve got some work to do with my Engineer prior to the Melbourne Grand Prix but hopefully we roll out there with a better understanding of the car, a driver that gets his act together off the start line and a few more of those race wins. Reports are we had a heap of coverage for the weekend with the few standout moments we had. Porsche do a fantastic job with their setup, presentation and corporate hospitality and make everyone feel very welcome. The team at Sonic are absolutely brilliant, Maria makes sure everything runs seamlessly for the 20 plus staff and Mike (team owner) has a passion and way of getting the absolute best out of everybody while having a laugh along the way.
It was a very busy time in the months leading up to all this, and times a little stressful getting it all together to make round 1, and still plenty of work to continue on to make the year run smoothly. So in saying that I can’t thank you enough for the support and assistance in turning this into a reality. I will be in touch over the coming days and hope to see as many of you as possible at Round 2.