That was a pretty good race for me. Went confident into this race as Monaco is my favorite track on the calendar and I even got my first AOR pole with a good 1:13.0xx even if I could've gone one or two tenths quicker. Got a good and clean start off the grid to keep first place after Sainte Devote in front of @Meireloso who managed to overtake @Scott_Aitchison. Didn't do a lot of mistakes in the first few laps until I run a little bit too deep into Tabac and got a light green front wing endplate which I didn't want to get repaired later in the race.
Managed to keep the lead of the race until my first pitstop on Lap 14 when Meireloso and @Craigieboy managed to do the undercut on me to relegate me to 3rd. One lap later, Scott made his pistop and rejoined the track a tiny bit ahead of me but even with some contact, I could get my 3rd place back and I could start focusing more on catching Craigieboy and Meireloso ahead. A few laps later, Craigieboy hit the barrier at the exit of the Nouvelle-Chicane which allowed my and Scott to get up to 2nd and 3rd thanks to the Ferrari's accident but a couple of laps later, my left-rear wheel touched the wall a bit, which made me do a 360° and lose a position to Scott.
Then, nothing happened until the final few laps when Craigieboy catched up to my gearbox after a fantastic recovery from his mistake. It was really tough to defend from him especially because the tyres were starting to die and I started to have some wheelspin but I somehow managed to stay in front and to cross the line in 3rd after a tough but good race.
Congratulations to Meireloso for his first win of the season and to Scott for his second place finish. Also big shoutout to Craigieboy for his phenomenal pace during the race. It was surely one of the closest league races I've taken part in and I'm very excited to race next week in Canada, a track I do appreciate quite a lot and on which there's always been pretty good battles at.
See you in Canada for @R.A.J.'s home race! (Bring the mapel syrup man!)
PS: Just noticed I lost the lead of the championship to Meireloso lol
That was a really tough race for me just to stay out of the barriers, but overall happy with my performance. Congratulations to @Meireloso on the win, I felt I was faster in the closing laps, but its just too difficult to overtake, was some good defending when I tried to though. My POV is below:
Q: P3, strong qualifying, pleased with my lap time even thought the front row was way quicker. I knew i could put them under pressure
R: Started on ultra softs and -2,5 laps of fuel. I don't know if this helped me to overtake easily @Scott_Aitchison at the inside or if he bottled his start. Anyway i'm P2 behind @Ely'
As early in the race I was expecting nothing except keep my 4 wheels right on the track and try to stay behind the leader. (which I more or less managed to do)
L12 : Still chasing Ely, after T1 I accelerate too hardly so I lost the rear and I hit the barriers. Scott got past and I got a yellow-green wing dammage. It was understeering too much and undrivable so I've decided to anticipate my only stop of the race. BUT. My team decided to not repair the dammage so at this moment I thought I lost everything
One lap later, @Craigieboy has pitted as well, and he's really close, I'm under pressure.
Two laps later, Ely went into the pits, I and Craigieboy managed to get past in front of him (Undercuting wasn't the plan tbh, but, well, let's take that )
Three laps later, it's time to Scott to go into the pits. He lost a lot of time on his old US, we three got past ahead.
L18 : Damn, who is the new guy on his Ferrari ? He's really quick ! After few laps i've been defending, he tries to overtake at the chicane, the move is clean, he's got past but... he crashed into the wall ! No doubt, racing Gods are cheering on me ! Let's try not to disappoint them ! :angelic:
L24 : Since I'm all alone leading the race, Ely and Scott managed to catch me up and they recovered within a second gap. And at this moment, I heard a "NOOOON" : Ely crashed ! And it's Scott P2 chasing for 1st.
At some point, he was really really close. But, fortunalty he did never attempt anything to pass as it's really tough to make a move around here. At the end of these (very) long and stressful 15 last laps I crossed the line in 1st place ! My best win in AOR ever for sure !!!
Really pleased with that result, and now CHAMPAGNE
Best phrase to sum up that race was "missed opportunity" but I have to firstly say that the standard of racing tonight, particularly with those I battled with was very high. Felt confident in being able to race in close proximity with you guys and try some overtakes without worrying about a big crash, which at Monaco is a very welcome surprise.
Like last time at Spain I wanted to get an early banker lap so ensure I'd be at least near the fast guys to begin with, however I was being a bit too cautious and made an error or two resulting in a high 1.14 which was quite a fair bit off the front runners. As quali went on I got more confident and improved steadily to a mid 1.13 which got me P5. a few hours earlier in TT I was hitting mid 1.12s when I could string a good lap together but doing it on the night would have been really tricky for me so my final position on the grid was a fair one.
Have to admit I was bricking it in the run up to lights out, thus far I hadn't been able to get a clean race run in the social races I did to practice and thought tonight would be no different. Thankfully the opening corners went without a hitch for me, I was even able to have a go at passing @JurYEdits but he fought back up the hill and I settled back into P5. from then on the first couple of laps with me and the other guys at the front felt pretty steady, at least for me personally I was making sure not to hit a wall so early in the race as that would result in a early pit-stop and likely be at the back of the grid.
As the early laps went on I was building my confidence to push harder and start thinking about applying some pressure to the guys ahead. JuryEdits appeared to tag the wall slightly as I was following him but I wasn't sure if he had any damage, at least he didn't pit for a new wing so any damage would have been minimal. A bit later on Lap 6 he grazed on the barriers just before the tunnel so I got a good run on him and made the pass at the Nouvelle-Chicane for P4.
On lap 12 I think @Meireloso hit the wall on turn 1 as I caught him up pretty quick and at the end of that lap he pitted. This prompted me to make a decision to pit the next lap for Super Softs to go to the end. I was fairly sure they would last the distance and my Ultra's were pretty worn and I knew my best chance to move past or closer to the guys in the lead was an undercut, plus I wanted to try and cover off any advantage Meireloso would get by pitting early too. after the tire change I came out just behind him and a few laps later both @Ely' and @Scott_Aitchison made their stops and both me and Meireloso jumped them to be first and second.
Then we come to Lap 18 where my chance for victory was gone. All the previous laps I had been pretty close to Meireloso and with a bit of desperation I had a go coming out of the tunnel as I was gaining quite a bit in the slipstream. Initially I thought I was going to miss the corner but I somehow just made it round but as a result I was compromised on the exit and smashed into the barrier. I didn't lose too much getting back on track but it allowed Ely and Scott through and I had to make another stop for a new wing as well as fresh Super Softs.
This had me in P7 with 20 laps left but I knew I would have a tire advantage over everyone else ahead of me (assuming they hadn't crashed like I did) so I pushed on to see if I could salvage some decent points from tonight. It didn't take too long to close up to @Dazzy Oz and on the run up to turn 1 on Lap 22 I braked later and managed to squeeze through. I wasn't sure if Dazzy broke earlier to let me through or not as I wasn't expecting to get alongside him into turn 1 but I took my chance and got past.
Next target was @Metten who I closed up to around Lap 27 but he was tough to get past. there were a few times I thought I got a good chance to pass but he was smart in his car placement and I had to back off a few times before I eventually had him on Lap 34 at turn one with help from DRS. This only left a handful of laps left to have a go at Ely for a podium position who I caught up to pretty fast and was all over the back of in the dying laps of the race. Unluckily for both of us (but mostly me) Ely hit the wall at turn 1 on the final lap and as a result went into the back of him leaving us both with damage and killed off any remaining change to get past, leaving me with P4 in the end.
Overall there are a couple of positives to take away from Monaco, my pace seemed good and got the opportunity to make some cool overtakes at a track where it is a premium to get past someone. Just a shame that one mistake cost me so dearly...
Race: 2 cars ahead had a big crash and didn't ghost and i didn't have anywhere to go because the track was blocked so i crashed out on lap 1. I don't like Monaco anyway so it saved me the effort of driving around the place.