The inaugural week of the PolarGT took place at Spa-Francorchamps last Sunday. For those unfamiliar, the series format is that of two heat races, with the second race seeing the top 20 finishers from heat 1 being inverted on the grid, as well heat 2 adding on an additional 5mins in length and switching to a rolling start.
I’ve only had limited seat time in the Mclaren, mainly due to that fact that the car seems to disagree with my driving style. It’s always been a struggle to get any sort of communication out of the front end for me and usually finds me either pushing or sliding through the bends.
That being said, I started to get the hang of it (a bit) just before qualifying and managed to put myself squarely mid-pack in a field that could rival any pro series race. Starting 27th, I moved up 3 positions to 24th in the opening lap, dodging one incident and making another pass under braking for the infamous bus stop.Unfortunately, I had to slow to a near-crawl around La Source to avoid another wreck and the resulting lost of momentum put me back to 26th by the time we entered Les Combes for lap 2. Now in a gaggle of cars, I tried to regain ground, sadly it was not to be. Several corners later, in pouhon, there was a pile-up in front of me and I was collected despite my best efforts.
The damage was minimal so I put the car in gear, looped it around the right direction, and got right back to racing, rejoining the action in 41st place. The rest of the race was bland, if you can consider running with 60 MP4’s around a historic track as such. I methodically worked my way back up to p28 receiving the checkered flag.
Being outside the top 20 meant that I’d start heat 2 in the same position I finished; 28th. There was even more excitement on lap 1 this time, with a large pile-up in Eau Rouge immediately. I snaked my way through unscathed and eventually managed to move up 10 positions to p18 during the first lap. At that point, things calmed down and I just took to the task of keeping my pace and letting the places come to me. I knew from my speed in heat 1 after being collected that I could press into the top 15 and I was content with that for this first week. The end of the race had me crossing in 11th place after a pass around the outside of Aleski Elomaa on the final lap in blanchimont (pictured).
Points standings after both heats see me in 16th place for the championship and 12th in line for the hard charger award (most positions gained in-race). Time to get to work on improving those rankings!
Categories: Special Events