Motorsport has its ways of making things tough for all its competitors. Some weekends luck doesn’t fall your way, and others, all the hard work comes to fruition and makes the tough times not seem so bad.
Mosport marked the second week of a three-week back-to-back-to-back journey for both Adderly [Fong] and me. Our journey started last week in South Korea for the first race of the GT Asia Series.
For me, the weekend was less than ideal with having to miss Race 1, however, Bentley Team Absolute racked up two wins and a second over the weekend.
We took that momentum and headed straight to Canada where we were confident the Continental GT3 could thrive – Bentley has designed a car that is wicked quick through the corners.
Mosport is one of those old school tracks that humbles you when you first exit the pit lane. It was my first time there and had to put a lot of trust in the car. It is a place that so often is described as separating the boys from the men with its high speed long duration corners.
Being one of the youngest drivers in the paddock and hearing this only made me hungrier to prove that I could master this unforgiving place.
Thursday practice was quite routine. With Mosport being a relatively small track, traffic quickly became an issue in getting a clear lap. I also realized just how important traffic management would be during the race. We finished practice and didn’t actually know where we ended-up because timing and scoring was not working.
Friday was the first indication of how our pace was compared to our competitors. At the end of free practice Adderly and I were 1-2. We have been knocking on the door all season and it was great for the guys to finally see we had great pace going into qualifying.
The qualifying format has been changed every weekend this year in PWC. This time they decided to split the field and have the fastest 12 cars go first. However, there was one fast guy who had a transponder failure in free practice, Pat Long.
Qualifying in Mosport is a mix between nailing your marks and hanging onto the car and trusting it will end up where you want it. At the end of the session I was on provisional pole. However, Long decided to go 0.07 seconds quicker and steal it away with five minutes left in the second session.
Race 1 was a battle of consistency and traffic management. After the start, the gap stayed between 0.5 and 1.5 seconds to first. All the guys up front were so evenly matched and the track lacked obvious passing zones that most of the grid finished where we started.
I was ecstatic for the crew to finally taste champagne after almost tasting it many times early in the season.
Race 2 was a bit more eventful with challenging track conditions but when all was said and done, the guys up front were very even. We crossed the line in third but were promoted to second after a penalty was handed to the No. 33 Nissan.
The weekend was a great way to start the second part of the season and even better was that fellow Spyder athlete James Hinchcliffe qualified on the pole for the Indy 500! In one weekend our Spyder team had racked up two podiums and a pole at Indy. That’s not a typo.
We are back on track at Lime Rock today for the third week of track action in a row. Until next time!