Racing David Mason’s Ferrari 458 GTC around Donington’s Grand Prix Circuit proved again what a fantastic car it is and what a fantastic circuit it is to race on.
The weather was unsettled but the first qualifying produced pole position and fourth overall and the scene was set. Race one saw me straight into 3rd place and a few laps later hitting the second spot. Pushing hard I handed over to David around halfway and he guided the car home to score a cracking second place putting us further into the lead of the championship.
Sunday saw second qualifying with a wet but drying track. It was much colder so we took the gamble to stay on wets and it paid dividends. Some went onto slicks but our view was that it would not dry quickly enough to get them to working temperature. And so it proved with another pole and this time second overall.
A heavy downpour half an hour before the race seemed to set the tyre choice for wet. But the superb FF Corse team and I had a long conversation about which tyre to go for. They could see it was drying fast so we decided to take a gamble and go for slicks. Everyone else stayed on wets. What a call this turned out to be!! Well done guys!
The race started under the safety car and I could not believe how fast it was drying. After two laps we took the green flag and set off. I chased the leading class 1 Mosler hard and after about four laps I caught and passed it for the overall lead! It then pitted for slicks and I made my escape.
Pushing very hard I pulled a huge lead over the entire field and things looked good. About halfway we again changed and David took over, driving a great stint. Then our luck ran out and rain came. Despite no experience of driving on slicks in the wet, David nursed the car home and we scored a fantastic third place overall, again to move further ahead in the championship table.
What a fantastic race with so many exciting turns and adverse weather. Many thanks to David for putting me in the car and FF Corse for yet again putting out a perfect car and getting that tyre choice so right, and John at HP Tyres (Dunlop) for all his great guidance.
Next stop: Denmark and the Classic Race Aarhus on a street circuit. I’m very proud to have been invited to be part of Greg Thornton’s extremely successful Titan Historic Racing Team. I’ll be driving a Chevron F5000 car, the only one ever to win an F1 race, a JPS Lotus F1 car and another F1 car.
Can’t wait. It’s always exciting to drive a new circuit and this is also a new country for me.
Join me at Donnington Race Circuit – View my upcoming track day events at Donnington with Goldtrack Track Days www.goldtrack.co.uk