Toby Goodman is edging closer to that Championship title after a fantastic Round Five at Cadwell Park this weekend. Toby gives us his version of events from testing, qualifying and winning another 1st on the Podium.
Friday Testing – Another wet day’s testing (it’s getting a bit silly now) started the weekend off. Any running in the early sessions was pointless as a 0% chance of rain was promised for the racing on Saturday. However, in the afternoon, the track dried up and we managed to get just enough running in to scrub some tyres and get my eye in for the important stuff the following day!
Saturday – Due to the race meeting being a one-day event, qualifying and two races had to be completed by 5pm on the Saturday, causing a very tight schedule. This also meant that the tyres would have more work to do in a shorter period of time, leading to more wear and degradation than we are used to. With this in mind, I headed out to qualifying hoping to do a few flying laps, then park it early to save some life in the rubber. This plan lasted all but a couple minutes, as I soon realised the grip levels were much beyond what I had anticipated. Lap after lap the rest of the field were setting faster and faster times, well surpassing the lap record from the previous year. I gave it 100% and eventually managed to put in a time good enough for pole, however picked up a black flag for track limits while doing so! Luckily the lap was allowed but it was a thorough warning going into the race.
A good start had me leading the race by the end of lap one. However, any gap I managed to pull through to corners I lost on the long straight due to the following cars having the benefits of slipstream. It became apparent very soon that It was going to be anyone’s race, as 1st to 5th were separated by just a few seconds. After briefly losing the lead mid- race I took a couple laps to cool down my tyres and brakes, before attacking once more. With a couple laps to go I regained position, and crossed the line P1. Tough race, and a top five reverse grid meant I had some work to do in Race two!
Its never easy to make up many positions within the first few corners of the race, especially at Cadwell Park. With this being said, a good start and a touch of patience had me briefly in third place, before a big hit from behind sent me onto the grass and facing the tyre wall. Luckily, I managed to keep it more or less facing the right way, and re-joined the track in close to last place! With this happening quite early on in the lap, I was still within the drama that always occurs in the first part of any race, and a slight incident ahead allowed me to slip into P5, and then P4 a couple laps later. As we headed into the closing stages of the race, I was right in the contention for a podium spot, and with a few corners to go in the race, I sent it down the inside to gain third place with success! Very much a race of damage limitation and recovering from what could have been a disaster, but an additional “fastest lap of the race” award gave me a great haul of points going into the penultimate round of the season at Donnington Park in a couple weeks time!
Well done Toby, looking forward to seeing your next race at Donington Park 28th & 29th September.