David Bartrum's Blog
21st September 2010
After Qualifying Day at Donington Park
Scotland. Aye! Race day at Knockhill was quite interesting, as it always is. Carrera Cup was good and bad, with lots of poles. Michael lost the first one to Tim Harvey, but won the second one and that just about evened out the points. We gained a bit of ground in the team championship with Charlie Bateman putting in a good performance.
Charlie was flying along, but I think he was still reading his library book when the safety car went in. There was a conspiracy theory that we'd got Charlie holding back to give Michael a gap; I just wish we could have planned to have Michael and Charlie one-two at the time!
But Charlie did a sterling job at Knockhill and I was really, really pleased for him. It re-launched him for the rest of the season. I was pleased for Michael and for George and Liam showed excellent pace right up until it went wrong. He went brilliantly in testing and was on the pace. Ollie had a bit of a mediocre weekend, but he wasn't a well bunny and you don't want an unwell Wookie. He was uncomfortable in the car and struggling to breathe. But he left himself in a very good position in the points.
So Carrera Cup generally was very good. I've already gone on record as saying that even when Tim Harvey has bad luck, he has good luck. But our momentum of Knockhill carried forward into testing and qualifying at Donington Park.
The time between Knockhill and Donington was flat out. We got back to base on the Monday, which gave us four working days. The Carrera Cup boys were flat out and Timmy was on a mission and they'd got everything done and in the truck again by Friday and it was the same with the touring cars boys. We didn't come out of Knockhill with too much damage. Liam had some damage and so did one of the BMWs, but nowhere near as bad as it might have been. Everything looked like it had been shot-blasted; Knockhill is very good for that.
Touring Car-wise in at Knockhill, Steven Kane was excellent. First race was brilliant the second race was going very, very well until Plato and Chilton got a bit naughty and they both got points on their licences. Steven managed to recover and still get fifth. In the third race we had a breakage in the output flange, which was a real shame but a typical characteristic of Knockhill. Unfortunately, that was that.
Mat Jackson, on the other hand, had a weekend of trials and tribulations. He fought hard to get nowhere in the first race. We had a bit of luck in the last race when we were drawn front row and second row. It was all going rather well until Steven pulled off with the broken output flange and then Mat decided he was going to do it all in the third corner on the first lap and started a rallycross career across the top of Knockhill. That was a real shame. We came out of Knockhill reasonably well, but not as good as we might have done.
Here at Donington, Carrera Cup qualifying was fantastic with five poles out of six, which I don't think has been done before in Carrera Cup history, so I'm really, really pleased with that. Of course it would have been nice to have six out of six!
Ollie is in a pro-am1 winning position, Michael is going to continue the fight against Harvey and we're catching up in the team championship. After qualifying, Michael got Harvey's lead down to 25 points, which is still a massive task and, as we saw at Knockhill, Tim doesn't have bad luck.
It's great that Steve Parish is back for his first weekend after breaking his collarbone at Oulton Park. He's taking his time and settling in quietly and it was very important to get him back in the car. His first time back in the car was in testing on Friday, which was also his first time at Donington. I think he'll go back to Brands and build his confidence a bit more again. He'll move on and get quicker.
In Touring Cars we've got a bit of a task. Steven had a gearbox problem, so he's going from the back of the grid, which will make for some interesting racing. Mat's starting from P11 after getting a lap messed up, so they've got a task on their hands.
I can't believe we are here at Donington for the penultimate race weekend of the season. I can't believe how fast it has gone by. Another year nearly over, but we've got to finish the season and try and win some championships, go the dinner and dance and eat, drink and be merry, and then have a break over Christmas before we start all over again.