Round 4 of The Rose Series was held at Sebring, the bumpiest track we will go to all season, it poses it’s own unique challenge and the pogo that is so prominent with this car had to be dialled out if we were ever going to finish this race. Luckily I found a good balance with speed and ride in the first test session.
I felt pretty happy with the balance of the car in Qualifying and was the only driver in the 1:39’s in the warm up session just before. Once again I decided to go in the 2nd group in Qualifying and got a pretty good banker in the first lap and secured my spot in the fast 9.
The fast 9 didn’t go as planned with a major sideways moment in turn 1 and the last turn on my first run. That was enough to put me P2 but as I pitted for fuel to go out again my crew chief forgot to de-select the tyres and I was forced to stay in the pits due to the 1 tyre rule regulation.
I couldn’t get the balance of the race set just right in the warm up and knew the guys around me on the grid would be very close to my race pace and as such overtaking would be very hard. The plan was to take my time and wait for the opportunity to make the move when it was safe to do so.
I got a very poor start and had to give up P2 or risk a big wreck in turn 1. The front 3 really started to pull a gap quickly but were still close to each other. After about 5 lap Andreas really started to struggle coming onto the back straight and I got my first chance to make a run down the inside into the final turn.
After making my way past Andreas I slowly closed the gap on Jamie. The tyres were at this point getting a little hot and running at to high a pressure. From here we made the call the drop the pressures all round half a PSI to keep them working over the long run.
The pit stop came and the change in the tyres really felt nice and was able to really start to push the car just a little more and with it really attack Jamie. After a few laps and some side by side battles, Jamie made a small slip and I pounced for the chance to take P1.
I slowly built up the lead from here and the car was feeling great. The only worry now was a random spin or some issues with a backmarker. With this in mind I really didn’t push to hard and gave a very wide birth to all the other cars on the track. So happy to take victory here and to have had a great battle in the process.
Congrats to Jamie & Brandon, See you all at Iwoa