Date: 24th April 2016
Track: Teamsport Southampton (Eastleigh)
My PB at this track (before this session): 22.695s
Best lap time this session: 23.504s
As soon as Mike and I had recovered from the endurance race, we returned to the track for our own birthday freebies.
It was a lovely day outside and the lighting was really good for my helmet camera footage (and Mike’s if he hadn’t put the microSD card in the wrong way round!).
Anyway, this afternoon’s racing had a completely different mindset for me; whilst I wanted to blow everyone away with a super-fast lap time, I also wanted to have fun and overtake in a more relaxed environment. I was fortunate to achieve both in the first session.
Although there were a lot of us out on the circuit, the track seemed pretty open and there was ample opportunity to get clear air and set good lap times. I topped the leaderboard from start to finish, and managed to achieve a 23.547s lap (which would have been a new PB before Thursday) on lap 22. Mike finished in second place a little over six-tenths behind me.
I was expecting more of the same in the next session and, this time, Mike was recording!
Unfortunately for me, in this session, the other drivers seemed to be far more aggressive with defending their position on track and, therefore, there was a lot more traffic to deal with. My lap times were very consistent, with all of them around or under the 24s mark but, after Mike’s spin left him in space, this was where he took full advantage of me being stuck in the middle of several big battles.
There was a lot of “squeezing” going on, where I was at least halfway alongside in an overtake and I was pushed into the barriers. This got me psychologically involved in the scraps, and rather than backing off and putting in a faster lap, I was determined to get past. In the last few laps, there were a number of yellow and red flags, which also prevented me from pushing on to better lap times.
At the end of the race, Mike achieved the fastest lap of the session with a 23.466s lap, whereas I only managed a 23.504s lap, leaving me third.
I had a lot of fun this afternoon, even if my competitive side was disappointed with the third place finish at the end. Looking forward, I can’t wait to go outdoors again soon and also to kart in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in May!