My first race, my first wheel to wheel dose of fantastic chaos, and I loved very second. Calm, collected, and focused, I set off to take my 11th place position on the grid for the green flag lap. A few minutes later, again, head clear, nerves calm, I lined up in my spot, looking down the grid to the lights... nothing... lights are on, revs up, in 1st gear, lights ou-GO!
With a great start, I take 3 cars on the pit straight, and a fourth through the 1st corner, a 5th going through McLeans, who I could have taken earlier, but as it was the first lap, of the first race, I decided to give him the space to move around. Nigel, in the white car, fires up my inside through Coppice, and gets a little lead down the straight. Then everything unravels, Double Six, car # 78, spins in the esses, and sets off a chain reaction going down the grid. Nigel, # 28, goes off into the gravel just in front of me, and 4 cars end up crashed and damaged in the mid-pack. Michael gets hit by Ian, and Tristan gets hit head on by Michael, both passengers in the whole event. (for this crash video go here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LwHKlKejWk&feature=g-hist ). The Safety Car boards and yellow flags are out as soon as the first car span, before I pass through the craziness. We then have 3 laps of following the safety car, to allow the marshals to clear the track, and to calm us all down. Then we're off again, and I take my 6th car, #78, going into the Melbourne Hairpin. With open track at last, I focus on the lead four, and just drive to catch them... then the checkered flag comes out. In the 2 laps that I am fighting with Double Six for 5th, I close on the lead four cars by 2 seconds. Then in my last lap, I close over a second in clean air, sadly it wasn't enough to catch them in one lap!
7 laps, 3.5 of actual racing... it's not long enough. I think there was enough time for the organizers to allow us a bigger window, but the Le Mans guys had priority.
Just as a note, you guys who drove home with cars that need... operations... Seriously bad luck guys, I know, from the videos, how carefully each of you were driving in order to not crash. I hope to see you all on the grid at Brands, and believe it will be a lot less eventful.