Wet Masterclass at Silverstone
Chris Bassett had a testing race weekend at the washed-out Silverstone Track Attack round, but ended with another two class wins, along with a second and ninth overall.
Following one of the driest summers for nearly 30 years, it felt like a year’s worth of rain had dropped itself in Northamptonshire at Silverstone for rounds nine and ten of the Track Attack Championship. It was another new track to learn, but we came away from qualifying in ninth place overall – which was pleasing enough after still learning the circuit in extremely wet conditions with alot of standing water across many parts of the track.
Race one begun with a good start off the line making up two places going into the first corner and up into seventh place. Over the next five laps we clawed our way through the pack and up into second place overal and in pursuit of Will Di Claudio’s very rapid Peugeot 106 GTi.
I’ve always enjoyed racing in wet conditions since my karting days all those years ago and it’s these conditions that myself and the Peugeot package really excel in. Over the next five laps we closed the gap to Di Claudio down from what was over six seconds at one point to less than a second with just two laps remaining. With time running out, I made my move around the outside of Becketts. Unfortunately for us, Di Claudio understeered straight into me and as we entered Club Straight, I did a complete 360 degree spin. By the time that I had recovered, I found myself nearly four seconds behind. I tried in vain to claw back the gap, but with only one lap now remaining, time was too short – although we did get fastest lap by almost a clear two seconds which was very pleasing.
We started the second race in second position, but too a gamble with our choice of tires. The circuit was still damp, but drying. It looked as though we might have another downpour, so I opted to go for an intermediate set-up which is something between wet and dry – with the hope that if it rained we would be perfectly placed to take full advantage of everyone else who opted for a dry set-up.
Unfortunately, the rain never came and we gradually slipped back through the grid and down to ninth place overall, which is where we finished. Ironically, the rain came just as our race had finished – had it came just ten minutes earlier, we probably would have been able to claw our way back up the standings.
Still, another two class wins, a second overall and fastest lap capped another good race weekend ahead of the trip to Snetterton in Norfolk and rounds eleven and twelve.
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