Michelin Le Mans Cup, Rd.5

 

 

 

Michelin Le Mans Cup

Rd.5, Spa, Race Report

Rd.5 of the Michelin Le Mans Cup took place this weekend at the legendary Spa Francorchamps cicruit. I was very much looking forward to be heading to Spa to race for the first time, it is such a cool circuit with both high and low speed corners, and also the famous Eau Rouge. During the two test days we experienced both dry and wet conditions, but the all important race day was dry. I was very excited to get going and see what we could achieve.

Antoine took place in his qualifying session and completed an excellent job to get the car onto P3 on the grid for the race later in the afternoon. The 2 hour race would take place Saturday afternoon at 4pm local time. We knew we both had great race pace so it was heads down and focus on the job we had in hand. Antoine took the start and made it out of turn one on the first lap in the lead. From this point on it was heads forward and focus on trying to build a gap on the car behind.

At the 50 minute mark he had managed to pull out around a 12 seconds gap before he boxed whereupon I took to the wheel. I just had to focus on hitting my marks and looking after the tyres whilst maintaining the gap behind. There was a few FCY’s througout my stint and I had to deal with the lapped traffic, but in the end we managed to bring the car across the line to win the race with a 35 second lead and a Cool racing 1-2. It’s amazing to finally get the result we deserve after a difficult few races and bad luck. I would like to say a huge thank you to the whole of Cool Racing for all their hard work and dedication, and it is great to reward them with a result. Now full focus on the final round in Portimao!

Michelin Le Mans Cup, Rd.3

 

 

 

Michelin Le Mans Cup

Rd.3, Monza, Race Report

Free Practice: Thursday and Friday.

Thursday was disrupted by the weather conditions sadly. Our morning session saw team mate Antoine Doquin, do the bulk of the running, with no afternoon particpation for the team due to the bad conditions. Friday however, we completed FP1 and FP2 . FP1 went very well both myself and my team mate, having very good pace and with the car feeling very good to drive and we ultimately ended the session in P2. FP2 focussed on the race pace, with heavy fuel loads and longer runs. We ended the free practice session P2 overall, with everything looking positive heading into race day on Saturday.

Qualifying would take place Saturday lunchtime. My team mate managed to put together a good lap – on the very last lap – of a messy qualifying session which was interrupted by several red flags. The two hour race would start at 5 o’clock local time in Monza, and we were confident we could pull out a good result from this weekend, even though we had to serve a twenty second penalty in the pit stop because of the bronze driver penalty. Antoine got off to a good start and maintained his position. There were several safety cars and Full Course Yellows (FCY’s) which hurt us as the gaps were automatically back down to nothing every time the race was interrupted. Not long before the end of his stint, a following driver misjudged his braking into T1, hitting straight into the side of our car causing a large amount of damage. Luckily we were able to continue and didn’t loose to much time.

At the 50 minute mark I jumped in the car for the final 1 hr 10 minutes of the race. There was a big amount of damage to the car which made it pretty tricky to drive, and also there was part of the damaged bodywork covering the windscreen hindering my view. All being considered, our pace was still pretty good. I managed to gain several of the positions that we had lost due to the extra time required in the pitstop, and were running in P3 until the final 10 minutes of the race. I came in for the final pitstop, and just after I made the stop a FCY came out and I lost a huge amount of time. We eventually crossed the finishing line in P8, however, a podium was definitely on the cards. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of Cool Racing and everyone else involved, and now we switch our full focus over to Rd4 at Le Mans at the end of August.

Michelin Le Mans Cup, Rd.2

 

 

 

Michelin Le Mans Cup

Rd.2, Le Castellet, Race Report

Rd.2 of the Michelin Le Mans cup took place at the Circuit of Le Castellet in France. We started with testing on Thursday where we would have two sessions. Between myself and my team mate Antoine Doquin, we covered very good mileage and were both very quick from the get go. We ended the day P2 in session one, and P1 in session 2, so the weekend was off to a brilliant start. Friday we had FP1 and FP2, with my team mate participating in the Bronze collective test session. FP1 went very well, we were P1 until the closing minutes to be just pipped at the very end, finishing up P2. The Cool Racing car was absolutely mega to drive and the confidence was very high for both of us. Following the Bronze test, we topped of the time sheets, and in FP2 our plan was to do race runs on old tyres. We ended that session in P4. After the two days of testing, we had been super quick and our race pace was looking very strong once again, so I was very excited to see how we would perform on the Raceday.

Saturday would see the qualifying session – in which the Bronze drivers must take place – so my team mate hopped into the car for this topping of the timing sheets on lap 4. But then a loss of power following that lap left us stranded out on track and unable to take place in the rest of the session, however, we amazingly held onto pole position. Unfortunately we had to have an engine change and the team had very little time before the race to do so, but due to there stirling efforts they got the engine in the car and built back up in time for us to make the race. Antoine would start the race before handing over to myself at around the halfway mark. He retained the lead at the start, and from then on it was all about just managing the gap to the car behind. A safety car around 30 minutes into the race, meant a great strategy call by the team via an a early pitstop, before working his way back up to the race lead before handing the car over to myself. I jumped in the car and would come out of the pits in the lead with a 5 second gap back to P2. I focussed on hitting the same lap time every lap, and trying to be as consistent as possible whilst managing the tyres. I extended the lead out to 18 seconds but then we ran into some difficulties… we had a power steering failure, and fluid leaking out onto the exhaust resulting in the car to catching fire, and us retiring from the race with just over 20 minutes remaining.

This was very disappointing after all the effort by the team to get us back out on track before the race, and after leading by so much. Overall we had a great weekend, our pace was incredible and that’s something to build on for the coming rounds.  I would like to say a massive thank you to Cool Racing for all their hard work, Greenlight Sports Management and my team mate. Impressive weekend all round guys with more to come for sure!

 

Next Round will be at Monza in Italy.

Michelin Le Mans Cup, Rd.1

 

 

 

Michelin Le Mans Cup

Rd.1, Barcelona, Race Report

Round 1 of the Michelin Le Mans Cup took place at Barcelona Circuit. I was very much looking forward to this new experience, and the season we had planned ahead. In the pre-event testing we improved every session out on track, and I was getting a lot more familiar in the car. Everything was going well, as the track and car were new for me of course, but we still had many things to learn going forward into the race weekend.

Friday’s Free Practice went very well, where I had very good one lap speed, and our pace over a longer stint was looking very positive as we were near the top of the field on every outing. I was very happy with the progress I made, and as a team how we improved the car. It was also looking very promising for the qualifying and first stint of the race as my teammate, Antoine Doquin, had mega pace. In the qualifying sessions the bronze driver needs to qualify, and so it was Antoine who took to the car. He completed a fantastic job for the full session, where we ended up grabbing pole obviously the place you want to be for the race.

Race: Antoine did an impressive job at the start of the race, retaining the lead from the start whilst managing the gaps from behind. Safety car outings did hurt the gaps he had managed to pull out, as everyone entered the pits at the same time, so the pit lane was very busy to say the least!

We had a super driver change and I was in the car for the last hour and 10 minutes of the race. Unfortunately, in the pit stop we lost several amounts of time as a driver who earlier had pitted didn’t need to spend the full 210 seconds in the pits – which is mandatory – so as I went to exit the box he was driving up pit lane stopping us exiting, and instead of re-joining in the lead we slotted back in 5th.

I felt very confident, and our pace was looking very strong on the opening laps in my stint catching the cars in front. An unfortunate mistake whilst making a move, resulted in a locking of the rear brakes, a spin, whereupon my rear wheels planted themselves in the gravel necessitiating a tow out. At the point of rejoining the race, I was a full lap down on the entire field so the hope of a strong result was unfortunately gone. I got my head down and focused on putting in the best recovery drive possible. By the end of the race I had worked back up to 12th position, with a strong pace and is something we can carry forward into the coming rounds.

There were many positives to take away from the weekend as a whole, although I am certainly disappointed with the mistake I made, as it cost my teammate and myself a great result. Hwoever, I take away the positives, will move forward and come back better and stronger. I would like to say a big well done to my teammate Antoine, for a super job all weekend, Cool Racing for all their hard work and dedication – both at the track and back at the workshop – and to all my sponsors.

Looking forward to Round two at Paul Ricard in June!

British F3: Snetterton

British F3 – Snetterton, Rd.5

3/4 October

The British F3 Championship Snetterton

Josh: “Tough weekend for us this time out. Everything was looking so good in testing, and we were being very strong in both conditions. We had a gearbox issue in qualifying which was out of our hands, but still managed P10.”

Josh: “The races were always going to be tricky what with the wet conditions and the spray. We managed a P7, P3, P6 and a DNF, the latter from being caught up in an incident that was no fault of my own. Happy to be back on the podium, but I’m disappointed because the weekend could have been so much better. Onwards and upwards to Donington however! Big thank you to CDR for all their hard work this weekend.”

Race 1: P7
Race 2: P3
Race 3: P6
Race 4: DNF

2020 British F3 Championship: 6th (256 points)
https://www.britishf3.com/standings/2020-championship-standings/

Next up:
24/25 October – Rounds 19/20/21 – Donington

 

British F3: Donington

British F3 – Donington, Rd.4

19/20 September

The British F3 Championship Donington Park

The Tewkesbury-based team travelled back to the East Midlands in buoyant mood on the back of a double victory and career-best result for Josh Skelton at Brands Hatch last time out.

A few issues in pre-event testing put Josh – consistently a front-runner in the series this year – on the back foot for qualifying, and in an ultra-competitive grid, moving forward in race trim proved tricky. He still took a hat-trick of points finishes to keep his title chances afloat, and maintained his enviable record as one of the few drivers in the field to have scored in every round, no mean feat for a Rookie! His pace after a front wing change in the finale, mixing it with the front-runners, showed there is definitely more to come when the series returns to Donington later in the campaign.

Josh: It was a difficult weekend at Donington Park for me, we had a few issues throughout the weekend which put us on the back foot a little heading into the races. Nevertheless, we never gave up even when the results weren’t what we wanted; we managed to get there pace wise in the end and can hopefully take the positives out of the weekend to move forward in the future. As always a massive thank you to CDR for all the hard work over the weekend and we will bounce back stronger at the next one.

Race 1: P14
Race 2: P6
Race 3: P14

2020 British F3 Championship: 7th (205 points)
https://www.britishf3.com/standings/2020-championship-standings/

Next up:
3/4 October – Rounds 15/16/17/18 – Snetterton 300