I spent all week trying to find a setup that I was happy with, but the nature of the track (low grip and terrible braking performance) meant that was never going to happen... regardless of my TT performance. So, I did the best I could with what I managed to put together.
Couldn't put a good Quali lap together after my first go... so I started P6 instead of further forward on the grid.
Start of the race wasn't great either... having messed up T2 and simply falling down the order owing to zero grip on the S tyre.
Couldn't get it working all through my first stint.
Lap 4 and I'm following @Alexis through Castle, only he's going nowhere and I lose a position out of the section to @timbob4321 because of a poor exit from me trying to avoid colliding with Alexis.
We get to the 'Isn't-straight' and Alexis bins it into the wall, forcing me into avoiding action and breaking my own wing in the process. Figures.
I pit straightaway for M and Alexis follows me in, driving through me and then promptly rage quitting. NOT happy about that.
Still, it was within my strategy window so I just got on with it.
Began hunting down cars, overtaking a few and driving though the complete massacre at T15 with @DON SILVA and Timbob at the end of one of the VSC... and before too long, it was time to start sorting myself for my 2nd stop... only... I looked at my tyre wear and it was good.
I still had pace so I decided to extend the stint and finish on the S... only... that didn't happen either.
Basically, it got to the point where I was in a potential podium position and a stop would've punted me way back down the order with not enough laps to get back there. So I decided to just go to the end and see what happens.
It was working too... got to within 1.4 of @TheTubbyNinja in P2, with 3 laps to go... and then my tyres gave up.
Simply too far and I had nothing left. So I decided to consolidate P3 and get to the end WITHOUT losing a tyre, at which point I made a stupid mistake in Castle on L25 which cost me valuable time to @Sneaky24-7Ninja, who had been sat around 2 seconds back for the last couple of laps.
Last lap and I did everything I possibly could... even backing Sneaky up in a corner or two... but alas, it wasn't enough and he had me under DRS over the line to the gap of 0.180.
So yeah... little bit of salt over losing a podium like that, but it is what it is... still strong points for Renault and I'm only 22 points off Tubby, AND there's still 14 rounds to race. ALL to play for.
Well done to @Simon Besnard for the win.
And to the double McLaren podium.
Canada next... and I'm already feeling cautiously optimistic
Pole was a great feeling even though the lap was nowhere near perfect or even good really with a terrible S1 and a S2 not really good aswell.
The race was good just no confidence at all in the car. It was sliding at every acceleration so I had to go way slower that I what I was able to. Anyway still a nice race management, no mistakes, no warnings.
1st ever league racing win after 20 races. What a relief it is to finally clinch my maiden win
Congrats on @TheTubbyNinja and @Sneaky24-7Ninja on the podiums. Also big shoutout to @GTX_23x for having been such an amazing teammate. Perfect communication between us and I hope next time we'll be together on the podium.
Qualified 3rd which was much much better than I expected, luckily pulled out a lap when it mattered most.
maintained 3rd in the first stint until pitting for Hards until the end. This became 2nd due to Codemasters deciding @DON SILVA will never get a good result but then 3rd again after I allowed @GTX_23x through without much of a fight.
This race was all just about surviving and I wasn’t going to come out of my safety bubble of comfortable driving for anybody. My P3 became P2 when @GTX_23x crashed at the castle which was ultimately now the best position I could’ve hoped for in the race due to @Simon Besnard being much quicker than the rest of us.
A little bit of a scare towards the end when title rival @Bankai_Bullett started closing me down on old mediums and it became apparent he was going to stick it out to the end to not lose loads of positions in the pits. Luckily once he was 1.5 seconds or so behind he never really caught me anymore and I didn’t ever need to break out of my comfort bubble to hold the gap. My teammate @Sneaky24-7Ninja however was closing him down rapidly and then over the last couple of laps mistakes meant he was able to mount a challenge for the last podium spot and managed to pass him on the final straight of the race securing a double podium for McLaren which extends our lead in the Championship.
Ultimately a great race for me and one of the best feelings I’ve had post race. Extend my lead at the top of both championships and am glad I’ve been able to make a habit out of getting podiums. Onto Canada where I hope I’m still as strong as I used to be.
Wasn't able to get a decent clean lap in during quali so a little disappointed with my time but could've been a lot worse. In terms of the race I took a gamble on the 2 stops. Knew if I was to go for the win I needed to get a good first stint on the mediums and a timely safety car. Unfortunately neither happened. Lost a lot of time with traffic and wasn't able to jump the soft runners when they switched to the hards. The remainder of that stint I kinda lost my way for a few laps, missing apexs and braking points as I came to terms that I was on the wrong strategy. Second stint was relatively quiet until the last lap which was exciting. That's two races now where I've tried to be aggressive with the strategy, need to change that in Canada I think where as always hoping for better.