Wet and wild conditions in Taupo didn’t get in the way of another great fun race day today.
Once again it was time for some cheap 2kcup winter series racing but this time me and Dad shared the drive, one race each.
Dad jumped into qualifying first and the track was well and truly wet. His first time driving the car with the new brakes, notorious for locking up in the wet, so he built into it going faster with each lap. Straight after I was out for my qualifying and having a ball in the conditions. In the end we had almost identical times with Dad claiming fastest by a matter of tenths.
Dad stepped up for the first race and with drying conditions a dry line soon formed. His opening few laps were impressive. Starting 12th on the reverse grid of 17 cars he soon found himself 4th after 3 cars spun in the same corner causing a bit of mayhem. But I think he was trying to drive a little above his experience level spinning himself in the first corner of the third lap. Facing backwards in the middle of the track one following car couldn’t react in time and collected the front of the Red Dragon. Dad was left on his own for much of the race after that, he was also left with a wonky steering wheel after the contact. Slowly reeling in the car ahead. Towards the end he managed to catch #125, a similar red MR2 and the battle was on. It was a close fought contest down to the last corner with Dad just coming in behind.
I was up for the second race. And before we could get going the weather took a turn. The rain thundered down and upped the challenge to the next level. This race was reverse grid with handicap, so I started 7th, ten seconds behind the cars in front. On the outlap I was surprised at just how wonky the steering was. Dad seemed to be playing it down but it was definitely out of line even if it didn’t seem to effect the speed. I got a good launch off the line for once and set off on my mission of closing that 10 second gap. The first few laps were nerve racking (well the whole race was) trying to figure out how much grip was available in the wet while also trying to hold off the cars behind. I had a great battle with #36 as we made our way forward through the field. I also had a good battle with #125 with the evenly matched cars making it a close fought fight. Following was a huge challenge with the spray from the car in front making near impossible to see the corners coming up, I struggled even to see the next cars break lights on occasions. Eventually #36 managed to use his better braking performance to sneak through but by this point I was up to third. I had good space after that. But while I wasn’t battling other cars I was battling the conditions. Constantly counter steering to catch potential spins, avoiding the slippery kerbs and white lines while trying to find every bit of speed I could. I knew the faster cars were coming, they always do on the reverse grids. Eventually it was Shane in #343 that appeared out of the rain behind me. And with the difference in speed it was only a couple of laps before he was past with Rooney in tow. And before I knew it they were gone, Shane headed off up the track to go for the win while Rooney headed off onto the grass with a big spin. He later came back past and blew my mind with near spins that ended up being nice drifts right in front of me. Surprisingly I managed to keep the car on the track (despite a couple of very close moments) and keep a good pace with no other cars catching me. I ended the race in 5th, but with Shane and Rooney not in 2kcup legal cars I’m claiming 3rd and therefore a podium. WOOHOO.