Heading to Bathurst for the Penultimate Round was exciting but made me feel a bit apprehensive as the rest of the season had gone well and I didn’t want to end up with a DNF so close to the end.
The previous race for me at Bathurst was in the Audi whilst competing in the the RCI Friday league. This time it would be the Bentley which I piloted over the mountain. A very different stance to the Audi and potentially a much more forgiving car once set up.
After dialing in the car and getting rid of a couple of niggles, I felt comfortable. I only ever work on a race set up so I literally drop the fuel out for Qualy and hope for the best. After a few invalid laps I managed to get a time in of 2:01.4 which put me in 15th for the beginning of Rd 12. I must admit I was relatively happy with the time as it was consistent but I’d lost around 4 tenths so potentially could of moved up slightly.
What goes up must come down
With the lights going green we wound our way up the mountain before summiting and dropping down the winding undulating track which offers next to no room for error. On the first left hander which drops away before skyline we lost a few drivers from up the front in the gravel run off. Passing the finish line for the first time I’d moved up a couple of places and everyone had settled into their current positions.
The first part of the race leading up to my 1st of 2 pitstops was spent picking up positions from drivers making mistakes. For the pitstops I opted to take fuel with my mandatory tyres so I could keep the car a bit lighter on each stint.
Leaving the pits after my first pitstop I was sat in 12th behind Bosselet. The next stint didn’t pass without a near miss after being over taken by Van De koekelt who then spun just before the descent down skyline, which I narrowly missed. With the final pitstop nearing, a few of the drivers infront pitted early. One of them being Bosselet who I’d spent the previous half hour chasing.
With new boots and a top up of juice I made my way to the pit lane exit whilst anxiously watching the split time for Bosselet getting smaller and smaller as he entered the start, finish straight. I rolled over the pit exit line and floored it exiting the pit just infront. The run up to T2 was intense with Bosselet looking to make a move, I had no choice but to brake late and defend on the inside. This paid off and I held the position up the start of the ascent. Around T4 we passed Junior who had spun his Merc on the exit. Shortly after we passed Ruiz who had made a mistake but didn’t waste any time jumping on the back of myself and Bosselet. The final stages of the race was spent playing cat and mouse between myself, Bosselet and Ruiz and eventually I made enough of a gap that Bosselet and Ruiz were left to battle it out with that coming to an end on the run into forest and elbow where Bosselet stuffed the wall unfortunately. I safely crossed the line in a strong and consistent 9th position which would carry me over some more points towards the final standings.
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