R5: Podium @ Knockhill

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Another Podium at Porsche Carrera Cup GB R5 – Knockhill

Knockhill race circuit in Scotland sits on the side of a hill with a wonderful view of the Firth of Forth and the Forth Road Bridge in the distance. The track is quite short and undulating, with great views for spectators and a real challenge for drivers. The local weather is unpredictable at the best of times and the race weekend was no exception. After sunshine for the Porsche official test day on the Wednesday before, Friday was grey, windy and wet mixed in with sunny spells for the pre race practice. As luck would have it both my practice sessions on Friday were in the dry and I was pleased with a combined 6th placing overall.

Saturday weather was much the same for qualifying and this time we were not so lucky. Just 8 laps into qualifying with the slick tyres barely warmed up a red flag put a stop to proceedings while a car was retrieved and as that was happening the rain came down very hard and there was no chance of setting a better time, so I was slight disappointed to end up 2nd Pro Am driver and 7th overall for race 1 on Sunday.

Sunday weather was again very changeable, with wind, rain and sun at various times during the day. The grid at Knockhill is on an incline which makes the start more difficult, but for race 1 the weather was dry and I made a reasonable start from 7th on the grid but lost a place on the first lap and then made a slight mistake through the chicane on the 2nd lap which dropped me down to 12th . I tried immediately to recover the lost places and went for a move round the outside at turn 2 and got pushed off the circuit into the gravel and the barrier, I managed to keep the car going, but my steering was badly damaged and I dropped down to 22nd place. I started to fight back and despite the issues with the steering I managed to make my way back up to finish 14th overall and 6th in the Pro Am category, my worst result of the year.

It rained heavily before the start of race 2 and I was determined to make up for the result in race 1 and get on the podium. Starting 14th, I made a good start but lost a place as we sorted ourselves out on lap 1 but then made up 3 places on lap 2 before a safety car. When we started racing again I had some good battles continually swapping places, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the track started to dry rapidly. Because I was battling hard my tyres started to overhead as the track dried, I made my way up to 9th overall and 3rd in the Pro Am category, which put me on the podium and enabled me to reclaim some of the points that I had lost to my main championship rival in the first race.

Knockhill was a challenging weekend for me, I scored another podium and still lead the Pro Am championship but by a slightly reduced margin. The next race is at Donington in the East Midlands on Sunday 27th August.

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