Anglian Home Improvements sponsored BARC Formula Renault driver Jack Piper reports on an eventful first race.
“Our first race weekend at Donington turned out to be very eventful. We made really good progress over the three days, but could have done with a little more luck in Sunday’s races.
The weekend started with a full day’s testing on Friday. It was my first chance to see the car in the Anglian Home Improvements livery and I’ve got to say I think it looked fantastic.
The track was incredibly busy on Friday with all sorts of cars on the circuit at the same time, which is pretty unusual. One moment I was chasing BMW saloons, the next a Formula 1 car came screeching past me. There was a Benetton from a few years back and a more recent Arrows. Man, they were quick!
After looking through the lap data on Friday night I could see where I needed to make up time, mainly through the old hairpin and final chicane. I’m glad to say I managed to do that in qualifying on Saturday.
We had two sessions, one for each of Sunday’s races. I took 15th place in the first and improved next time out to move up to 14th, which the team said they were very happy with.
I felt pretty confident going in to Sunday’s first race, knowing that I’d been getting quicker with every session and catching the guys ahead. I had a slight problem at the start when my visor fogged up as I approached my grid slot. I was trying to clear it went the lights suddenly went out and we were off!
I managed to make up a few positions in the early laps and was closing in on a couple of guys in front of me as we approached the final chicane. One of them then ran into the other, causing him to spin. I was so close I had absolutely no chance of stopping and crashed into him, sending me spinning off the track.
There was nothing I could have done. It was a real shame because I felt I had a real chance of getting past them. The front of the car was wrecked and the team did a good job of rebuilding it before the second race in the afternoon.
This time I got a good start and overtook two cars on the first bend, but the car didn’t feel right after the earlier crash and I really struggled to find any pace. Despite that, I managed to avoid a couple of spins in front of me before the Safety Car came out.
I was in with a good chance of a points finish again, only to be punted out as the guy behind me tried a rather ambitious overtaking move on the first bend at Redgate. The stewards handed him a penalty after the race but it didn’t make up for my frustration. It would have been great to get a couple of decent finishes in my first race weekend with Anglian, but that’s racing I guess.
I must thank Phil and Maureen from Anglian Home Improvements and their partners for coming all the way over to Donington to support me. It’s really appreciated. Hopefully we’ll have better luck at Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks.”
Jacks next race is at Brands Hatch on 22nd and 23rd August. Keep an eye out on the blog for the very latest in preparation for the race and results.
Anglian Home Improvements, formally known as Anglian Windows. Supporting people’s development since 1966.