Spa Francorchamps – 16th 17th June 2012 – Patrick Sherrington
2012 Sports 2000 Endurance Series – Round 1
“Relaxing” at the Spa!
Qualifying Following a couple of good finds at Cadwell we were hopeful for a good result at Spa to kick off the Endurance Series in style. I was delighted to see our revised oil system from last year wasn’t causing the surge issue in Eau Rouge we had had last year which cost us an engine. Qualifying was relatively uneventful and I was delighted to be on Pole by 3 seconds despite a heavy fuel load and “vintage” tyres.
Race 1 In true Spa tradition the rain came down on the Saturday so a full wet setup was required. We also had a rolling start which was another thing to manage into the tight first hairpin and sure enough I had Paul Tickner alongside me on the way in.
I got an excellent exit and pulled ahead as we thundered down to Eau Rouge for the first time. Went though with just the right amount of pace i.e. a mild tank slapper and onto the back straight and was pleased to see everyone disappear in the rooster tail from the back of my car. From then on it was into smooth mode and on my own with a clear track I was able to set of good pace but very much in control and finished some 41 seconds ahead with Peter Williams a fine third and Paul Martin 4th in the other MCR’s. I then ran out of fuel on the slow down lap which was odd to say the least. More of this in Race 2.
Race 2 Happily the sun was shining on Sunday and I was aiming to try and grab the lap record if all went well however we were made to work for the race in more ways than one.
Scott had thankfully gone to warm up the car before going onto the grid as when I arrive to jump in I saw a puddle of liquid emerging from the car which turned out to be petrol. We has sprung a leak from the fuel filter which had a small hole in it hence the run out the day before. At this point they started to let cars out onto the grid so the race was on to fix it. A mad flurry of petrol, rags, spare fuel filters and refuelling ensued all whilst primed with a fire extinguisher. A massive thank you to Scott Davies who kept his head and replaced the parts in record time and Anthony. Thanks to everyone else in the vicinity who probably go roped into help as well! I made it out just in time to take up my grid position.
Another good start and into the lead so head down to bring the tyres up to temps and then go for that lap record. Lap 4 saw us just 0.5 of a second off so time to really go for it. It was not to be however as third gear broke going down the hill towards Eau Rouge so I had to only use 4th and 5th gear for the remainder of the race which made negotiating the Bus Stop chicane more than a little interesting.
Thanks to the MCRs pace in the quick stuff we still managed to win by 32 seconds and take the lead in the Endurance Series.