The emotional rollercoaster of motorsport can work on each lengthy and brief timescales. Generally, a crew’s transition from the again of the sphere as much as the rostrum can take months or years. Generally the transition again can take hours. The weekend simply handed was actually one which had its ups and downs.The crew entered the weekend with all three of its drivers within the prime 5 of the championship, and one, at the moment main it. The arrogance within the automotive was at an all-time excessive, and reliability has been bettering all season. The observe, one of many quickest within the nation, ought to favour the rear wheel drive BMWs, and the climate was trying good. This ought to be a great weekend. The main driver was carrying most ballast as is remitted which wasn’t going to assist his possibilities, however should not trigger an excessive amount of of a problem. He is a proficient driver who’s had ballast earlier than – not an issue.The rollercoaster reached its apex.Free apply one was spent scrubbing tyres. No actual testing as such was executed till the tip of the session, however a brake bias error meant a spin underneath breaking coming in to a closely gravel-trapped hairpin. The time misplaced as a result of crimson flag for restoration, and the clearing out of the large quantity of gravel, meant there was no time for any setup adjustments or refinement throughout the session.The rollercoaster was excessive now.Throughout Free Apply Two, a number of setup adjustments of various success and influence had been tried, however there was little or no marked enchancment in lap instances. The issue was merely that our driver had solely two laps to check every setup change earlier than pitting and making an attempt the subsequent factor on the listing. Often, these adjustments are unfold out throughout two periods. This weekend we had one. Not each change you make goes to enhance the automotive, and sadly, as FP2 closed, the automotive was not on the tempo we had come to count on by this stage of the season.
Down we go.Subsequent up was qualifying. Given the pure benefit of rear-wheel drive in moist situations, the ominous rainclouds had been truly a welcome sight. Rain would equalise the pack a bit extra and provides the BMWs an opportunity to make up any efficiency deficit. The primary few laps had been dry however the tempo wasn’t there. Then the rain got here, and boy, did it come! The rain was so torrential that the session was in reality crimson flagged resulting from security considerations. By the point the session restarted, the vehicles had been affected by water ingress within the electronics and ended up on the very again of the grid for race 1. The again of the grid, 28th place, with 75kg of ballast within the automotive.The place’s the underside?Following the disappointing qualifying session, the climate worsened. One thing not seen regularly in Blightly, however a twister (sure, a TORNADO) got here via the paddock. This freak climate prompted terminal injury to the hospitality awnings and all the crew was out within the (now returned) torrential rain, angle grinding, reducing, hammering and spannerring to get the stays of the awning protected. Your complete crew, nonetheless reeling from qualifying, had been now drenched via, to not talked about the injury executed to crew property or to relationships with sponsors and VIPs.Is that this it?The engineers and drivers sat down and mentioned an motion plan. What could possibly be executed to recuperate the weekend? Was all the pieces misplaced? Completely not! Choices had been made and adjustments to the automotive had been executed late in to the night time. The whole lot adjustable was adjusted. Gear ratios had been modified. Engine maps had been tweaked. Like one thing out of a Hollywood blockbuster, the automotive was remodeled. Untested, sure, however remodeled.When will we return up?Race one started in wonderful sunshine. The crew and vehicles had dried out in a single day, however the lengthy stroll all the way down to the again of the grid was not one thing the crew usually needed to do. The untested automotive appeared stable on the outlap to the grid, however that’s by no means an actual check of efficiency. Closing checks executed, 75kg of ballast on-board, 28th on the grid. The race began.Lastly, up we go!Our driver completed 10th. He made up 18 locations, an unbelievable end result and higher than anybody had hoped for. The in a single day transformation had labored wonders and the velocity within the automotive was again. 10th additionally meant no extra ballast, in addition to beginning in 10th for race two. A superb end result!Issues are trying up!Race two began with a a lot shorter stroll down the grid. No ballast on-board, and just some minor tweaks to compensate for the 75kg decrease weight. And what? He solely went and gained it! He drove just like the skilled he’s and put the automotive on the entrance of the pack, successful by virtually three seconds. Who would have thought after the dismal Saturday, that race day would come with a victory. What’s extra, one other of our drivers was third, so a double podium. A superb end result!
I can see the tip now.All that was left was race three. Ballast again within the automotive resulting from successful race 2, and a reverse grid meant beginning down in the course of the pack. The unfavoured exhausting tyres had been additionally required for this race. The end result was a stable center of the pack end. Not horrible, however not on the size of success of races one and two.Time to get off.So the drivers go away the spherical with all three nonetheless within the prime 10, two nonetheless within the prime 5, and one nonetheless main the championship. A end result that though anticipated on Friday, appeared to fade away throughout Saturday.The worth in persevering, not giving up underneath hardship, and striving to win regardless of how the percentages are stacked in opposition to you can’t be understated. A foul apply or qualifying session, doesn’t should wreck your race. It does not should wreck your championship hopes. It does not even should wreck your day.Maintain your chin up, your head within the sport and willpower in overdrive, and as a crew, nice issues will occur.Please stay seated till the experience has come to a whole cease.