Today I finally raced my 50th event here! It's taken a long time to clock up the events here for some reason.
Anyway, I saw the big 50 in with pole and a victory in the Sydney V8 race!
21 podiums (this was down at 6 when I'd raced 30 events)
and been part of a team champion with Marcel for Arunam!
I'm sure during the long cold Winter nights I'll be more active so hopefully catch some more of you on track soon.
Few thrills and spills from the Alfas at Estoril last week.
Came to clearing some video clips from my PC and rediscovered this gem of a race with me and team mate Scott Keith locked in a tussle with Mike Dos Santos all race for the win.
Without doubt one of the most intense and enjoyable races I have ever had. The highlights of this are the main part of the video with my pole lap for an introduction. Enjoy!
Chris Hack (orange car)
Scott Keith (Blue car)
Mike Dos Santos (Black car)
1 - missing skins
2 - you are left with music instead of engine sounds...after an hour of recording new clips today i realised i had the wrong rfactor recording profile selected and couldn't bare to re-do it.
However it is viewable in nice(ish) hd!
Some of the action from the opening lap with a huge field of Skodas but concentrating on a super race long battle for 3rd with my Driven By Passion colleague Rob Taplin with me finishing 3rd in the Orange car and him in 5th the second of the white/green cars. Apologies for my music taste..
And what a way to get it..at my home track in the F1 Pro series! albeit it with more than a small slice of luck.
Having not even had a podium away from touring cars it felt great to cross that line taking not only a podium but a win! It also felt good to repay Steve for the faith and support he'd given recently and the amount of practice we did for this event was great.
On to the race, I was more prepared than ever for this race and it showed. Pace and consistency were bang on and I was very sure of my race strategy.
Quali was going to be important as it was proving extremely hard to work a pass round Silverstone and I was reasonably pleased with putting the car 5th on the grid, 0.7 off of pole considering the hard tyres. Steve did a great job and slotted it in 7th right behind.
The race...got a really good initial getaway but had to life off as Ryan ahead bogged down which meant there was a little bit of chaos as I got hung out wide at T1, praying no one that was flying across wide from the inside collected me. Having survived that I settled in on the back of the lead group for the first few laps as I waited for the tyres to come in and I knew they should be the quickest option after 5/6 laps. For most of the first stint it was the most fun I've had in an F1 race. A great 5 car battle over 2nd place for a long period with lots of really close but careful racing definitely get the concentration at a peak!
The 2 stoppers on softs pitted but I was still stuck on Ryans gearbox as his mediums had been slower for a considerable amount of time I just couldn't follow close enough to make an easy pass. Tristan caught and passed us but then after a couple of laps his tyres started to slow and the gap held at a few seconds! Sneaked past Ryan just before he pitted which put me briefly in to 2nd...got confused and pitted 3 laps earlier than I meant to but I knew the tyres would still easily go to the end so this wasn't too much bother! Came out in 4th...just behind Ryan again, d'oh!
A lap later I was on his gearbox again! Not long after I had a surprise when we passed a beached Tristan! At this point a podium became a real possibility but with Tim behind I knew I needed to get ahead of Ryan again and stretch my legs, also to try and get the gap down to Darren. Managed to make what felt like a really nice move stick up the inside in to T3 and hold off Ryan attempting to fight back 2 corners later. I then settled in to my pace and took a few tenths out of Darren in the next few sectors..next thing I know there's a yellow flag and Steve comes over the radio again with news Darren has spun!..and is also stuck. So I inherited the lead...now I knew I didn't have to stop again and in all likelihood everyone behind me did and had to make sure no "YOU CAN WIN THIS ARRRRGH" thoughts distracted me to I settled in to a calm pace I could run without making any mistakes..this was enough to slightly gap Ryan and maintain the gap between 2-3 seconds before he charged hard as he was about to pit.
Once he pitted I knew he needed more than a second a lap on me and that I could run harder if need be, his first lap out he took 1.5 seconds so I upped the pace just a tad and from then on it was just under a second until I monitored the gap down to him needed over 2 seconds a lap where I really backed it down and avoided the evil curbs to bring her home.
Delighted didn't even come close to how I felt when I crossed the line...the only problem is it proves that amount of practice paid off and now I'm going to have to match it every time!
Extremely unlucky for Darren and Tristan getting stuck in the sand as I think I'd lost too much time in traffic to challenge them on my strategy but I'll gladly take my win!
Thanks a lot to Steve for all the practice work he put in with me..he even backed up the win by winning his race on Sunday to make it 2 Arunam wins in the weekend!
I guess this is my first mini milestone and I believe whilst taking it I also drove my 3,000th mile, so there we go, a small reason to blog.
It took a race long battle without any team orders between me and Rob, who is technically a team mate to try and overhaul him in Skodas around Donnington which took about 38 of the 40 minutes to finally pull off! One of the best battles I've had in a long time and to get a podium out of that was a great feeling.
Looking back to when I last blogged I'd just hit 30 races, so 7 races and almost exactly 1000 miles further on and:
2 poles has become 4
6 podiums has become 10
2 poles and 4 podiums in my last 7 races feels quite productive! Not managed to add to the 3 wins yet though...annoyingly everything good has come in Touring Cars. Every single win, podium and pole!
The F1 pro efforts are improving, I've been so close once to sneaking a podium but since then a few small mistakes have cost me dearly. However starting 2 seconds a lap off the pace and now being more like a few tenths off feels almost as good as a podium right now! Hopefully one will come my way soon. Maybe if I sabotage the APR cars...
In other news I just noticed that I have (probably very briefly) entered the top 10 in the touring car rankings!
I thought it was time for a first blog post.
I've been a member here from the end of 2009 but only recently found company to enter races regularly with which has led to far greater enjoyment.
So now I've hit 30 events raced here, 9 this season which is my most active by far and the stats go a bit like this:
Not bad not bad! I can't remember all of the DNF's...but I remember one of them was because in the very early days I managed to escape from a race thinking I'd finished where I'd really started the last lap...ahem.
More recently I've ventured on to the r2p TS a bit more and I got talking to Steve Taylor who gave me some brilliant help with my first F1 race and even gave me the chance to join his Arunam team which is great, not crashing up the car and grabbing a 4th on my debut for them was a bonus!
Using this 'season' to try and drumb up a bit more interest from some of the guys over at Driven By Passion HQ to get some of them to come across so we can enter some series properly next season and compete all the way through.
No doubt I will see more and more of you on track as I get more hooked..