Jack Piper reports to the Blog on his latest racing weekend at Croft;
“Rounds 5 and 6 of the Formula Renault BARC championship saw me make the long trip north to Croft. It was always going to be a tricky challenge because it’s a new circuit for me and unlike most other tracks there’s no practice sessions over the race weekend.
Having never driven a lap of the circuit I had to use qualifying to familiarise myself with the track which meant I was unable to get the best out of my new tyres. My pace quickly improved with each lap and while I had to settle for 14th place on the grid I managed to out-qualify the other drivers who were new to the circuit, which the team were pleased with.
In contrast to the blue skies and sunshine in qualifying, race one on Sunday took place in very windy and overcast conditions. I got away from the line very well and managed to make up a place within the first few corners. The strong winds made it difficult through the faster bends, which caught out a few of the other drivers. A collision half way through the race saw the safety car come out, bunching the field up.
This gave me the chance to get right up behind the cars in front, but also allowed the cars behind to close up on me. After the restart I took advantage of a couple of mistakes in front of me and made up several places to move up to ninth where I stayed despite having to defend hard against the chasing pack. It meant another top ten finish on a new track which we were all very happy about.
I made another good start in race two and felt able to push the car much harder because I was more comfortable with the track. My pace was pretty good before another safety car towards the end of the race allowed me to get right on the back of the cars ahead. After some close racing I managed to dive down the inside of the car in front on the final lap to move up to 12th place. It wasn’t the top 10 result I’d hoped for, but given the disadvantage of never having driven at Croft it was another step in the right direction.
I now look forward to rounds 7 and 8 at my local track Snetterton at the end of July. Having had a few test days at Snetterton I hope to be right back on the pace and much further up the field. Look forward to seeing you there”.
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