Slight Improvement - WGTC Season 7 Rounds 15, 16 & 17

The eagle-eyed of you would have noticed a large gap in my write-ups when it comes to the World GT Championship and this has been down to a couple of things. The first of which has been my absence at the Silverstone Endurance round three weeks ago, and the week's break between that and the three sprint races at Road America. The second reason was the very frustrating evening that I had at the latter which left me with very little motivation to write about it as I felt that I was starting to repeat myself - "I felt like there was pace there but I crashed.

Anyway, we went to Monza - one of my favourite circuits in the world, and one that I don't seem too shabby at when it comes to iRacing. As expected, the Audi wasn't too strong there due to a slight straight-line speed disadvantage, but the mid-corner speed was good so making up time through the chicanes and lesmos was vital. During practice I was just outside the Top 30 and the theme continued into Qualifying as well.


Race 1 started out with the usual traffic jams that you get at Monza with a 50-car grid, but I made up a couple of places gradually as people fell off the road around me. I got stuck in quite a train of cars just inside the Top 30 and decided to hold position and play it safe in the interests of collecting some much-needed points - especially as I'd now slipped outside the Top 15 in the ProAm standings.

After managing to keep it clean and not get caught up in any incidents, I got a bit too much kerb through Ascari - where I'd had a couple of hairy moments in laps before - and the car got away from me and went into the wall. I eventually crossed the line 35th after a few lonely laps that gave me plenty of time to tell myself it was the same old story again...


Race 2 didn't really get started properly for me - connection issues meant that in the interest of safety for the other drivers, I would not start the race with the rest of the field in the rolling start, but try to sort my connection out and start from the pit lane, aiming to emerge a fair distance away from any traffic. I did just that and drove around on my own, finishing 41st before taking advantage of having the track to myself to park it on the straight for this picture...

My saving grace of the evening was Race 3. Starting from my finishing position from Race 2, I knew that I'd have my work cut out to get some good points. As I entered the braking zone for the first chicane, I got a slight tap from Mark Fletcher behind me (who apologised straight away after the race) that sent me flying across the grass, 90 degrees to the rest of the field negotiating the chicane. I chucked the car to the right into the gravel and somehow didn't hit anyone or anything, and emerged exactly where I'd started...


After this, it once again became a race of survival and after slotting in behind my teammate Matt Bunn, we pushed through the field together as people fell off all around us. We didn't get involved in any battles that really slowed us down so before we knew it, we were inside the Top 30! In the last few laps I really got into a groove and started doing some very consistent lap times - if only I'd been on that sort of form for the whole race meeting. I crossed the line 25th and was very happy with how the evening had turned around.

After crossing the line, I also noticed that my brother Matt had managed to bag himself a 24th place finish - his best in the World GT Championship. Without sounding patronising - I mean, he's almost 25 years old now - it was a very proud "big brother moment" to see him doing so well in such a fierce league, especially as this really helped his Am Championship chances

In terms of my own championship, I'm slowly realising that silverware is out of the question - it's incredibly close in ProAm so there's always a chance, but as I'm not able to take part in the next round at Daytona due to commentary commitments, it's quite an uncertain situation at the moment. Fingers crossed I'll have some strong results to celebrate as to season goes on, but as always I want to thank the CQR Club guys for their help and support.

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