After the absolute success I had at Road Atlanta (finishing second), I was aiming to end Week 13 on a high.
Saturday 13th March, 2021
Aside from Week 13, Saturday saw the absolutely devastating death of yet another Formula One legend - commentator Murray Walker. He was 97.
With the death of Steven Hawking on Sunday, it marks a rather dark weekend of the year and I'm sure only more will pass as time goes on. The Week 13 GT3 Challenge was headed back to Watkins Glen (the Boot version being Tuesday's race).
Right up until the final moment, I thought everything was going quite damn decently...but we'll get to that.
I qualified 4th, but fell to 5th after a mediocre race. After 11 laps of hard racing, I was somehow in the Top 3 (others ahead of me died) and unbeknownst to me, the next time I'd be crossing the start/finish line would be for the white flag....but I'd never make it.
A "fool" (keeping it PG) in a lapped car braked later than I did, hitting into my rear - the angle of which pinned me up against the armco barrier before I rolled onto my roof. The four words I said were enough..."I. Love. Week. 13." what an absolutely crushing blow it was. had he hit me a second before or after, I probably would have done some crazy crash, but wouldn't flip...it's such a shame but it is what it is and that's racing.
I'd try a later time-slot, but qualify 6th and during this race I'd spin...probably in frustration. Onto the next.
Sunday 14th March, 2021
We'd return to Hockenheim...but this time for a slightly different layout - this time being "National B" - the straight being chopped in half and us rejoining the track later on.
Qualifying was a little bit dissapointing - putting in a half-decent lap in before going faster through turn one on the second - obviously botching this lap up not two corners later.
Come the race - I'd pass cars spinning, eventually getting me into P4 - P3 spun directly in front of me...slowing me down. As P5 was quite a fair way back, he was unaffected by this spin and then proceeded to overtake myself and the spun P3 - I'd finish this race in P4 after starting P5 - these races always make me think "what if..." but then I remember it's Week 13 and it's only my "pride" being ruined - no ratings, reputation or anything like that.
On Sunday I also practiced with William for the Sebring 12 Hours later in the month.
Monday 15th March (Half way through the month!)
The final day of Week 13 arrived and it was Spa - Spa is a great big classic circuit, challenging drivers with every single type of corner possible - hairpins, chicanes, S-Bends flat-out-balls-out corners...it's also one of my strong tracks.
Unnnfortunately, Monday wouldn't go so well - even if I had invited my mate Josh from Road Atlanta for another race - I'd both qualifying up by crashing hard on my out-lap (got on a massive bump on a kerb). The session is a total of 8 minutes...here's how I spent it:
2 Minutes: Out-Lap Until Crash
2 Minutes: Second Out-Lap 2 Minutes: Flying Lap Annnd I couldn't complete the second lap, which was a couple of seconds slower anyways.
I started 6th and finished 5th - briefly being 4th until the final lap when the driver behind me got me on the inside of Pouhon.
I'd also do a bit of practicing with Chris Atkinson, my fellow 20-Year-Old team-mate who will be driving (or hopefully driving) the BritCar 24 Hours in a McLaren with me - for a rookie who'd never driven a McLaren or a GT3 before, he absolutely smashed it!
(Today's lecture was actually just a tutorial)
Tuesday 16th March
Tuesday started swimmingly as I had what I can describe as "an anxiety attack" - though it wasn't an attack as such - just lots of thoughts and reminders of what I need to do hitting me at once - usually I get these earlier in Week 13, but I survived until Sunday or so before feeling like "Ugh, Week 13 Sucks"
My solution? Just do an all-nighter. Tick off the shit that needs to get done and viola, come 10am I've completed everything and I'm ready for the day.
This blog (from Watkins until Spa), Week 13 Review, Screenshots/Photos from Oulton Park in addition to writing up my Public Affairs assignment (or beginning it) being the main "heavy hitters"