Today was going to be a difficult day, as I knew going into this morning’s timed practice that I had an underlying problem down the straights, but I was still determined to achieve a decent result from the qualifying and the race.
Before timed practice we made some adjustments to the suspension, which hopefully would gain me some time through the corners and get me a better qualifying position on the grid. This paid off as I managed to improve on yesterday’s time by a whole second, but unfortunately it was not enough to move me places up the grid and I started on the same position of 19th for the second day in a row. After timed practice more problems occurred as after inspecting the car, we noticed cold patches on the radiator. All that afternoon became a desperate search for a radiator I could use for the race and this latest event proved that I have had not so much luck in this championship so far. As the temperature increased during the day, we installed a borrowed radiator, which to our dismay leaked water out of the bottom. I was left with no choice but to use my original radiator.
The race came and the temperature was well in the 30 degrees and would be a test to all drivers. Off the line, I didn’t get a very good start and went round the outside into Paddock Corner. This move paid off as a car on the inside hit the barrier and came back across the track showering debris everywhere and blocking all the cars on the inside. My car felt like a different car and had a lot of pace down the straights, which allowed me to overtake another driver into Druids Bend just before the red flag was issued. After all the debris was removed from the first corner accident, we undertook a complete restart. I got a better start and went down the middle gaining 3 places, but I knew immediately the car wasn’t as good as it had been after the original start. I had only completed 2 laps and I came down Paddock Bend and the car just died and crawled slowly to the marshal’s post at Druids.
After many attempts from the marshals and myself, the car would not start at all and after the race had finished I was towed back to Park Ferme. It was incredibly disappointing to not finish as I really like the track and I needed some Championship points. The only thing we can really benefit from this weekend is that we suspect the problem is a fuel pump problem and that I have learnt a lot more as a driver as well. This race weekend has also shown that the racing within the class is extremely close and that the Championship is going to be very tight and competitive for the rest of the 2006 season.