Tag Archives: GT4

Hungaroring

This weekend was pretty trying I have to admit. Besides having my brother Steve with me which was epic to be able to finally have him here for one of my European races which he’s never been able to come to. For probably my favourite track I’ve ever raced at, after having such great success here 4 years ago in my first every Euro F3 race, it wasn’t as good a weekend as I’d hoped for. We struggled all weekend with set up, and then I struggled again in both races again with the common trend of this season – which in every race, as a driver, you have to make a decision fairly soon into your stint, whether to race…. Or to find a clear running space to pump out fast laps to score points for the internal championship going on within our team… and for me as a racer, I am never able to commit properly to the absolute ridiculous notion of slowing down, letting cars pass you etc…. just to find a piece of clear running space and then going quick again.

To me the point’s system our team put in place for the series creates a massive of conflict of interest, and defies the point of racing. Basically how it’s set up means that you don’t get any points for qualifying position, or finishing position of the races. Instead each driver is ranked in order of the average of their 5 fastest race laps… which basically means when you’re running in a championship with multiple different manufacturers and BOP’s (Balance of Performance) – you end up having to engage in some pretty full on battles with other cars throughout the races, mainly for us defending for overtakes on the straights where we lack top speed, and then having to take gaps and pass in the high risk areas of the circuit, braking zones and turns, where we are at an advantage to the other cars. While all of this is great…. It means that if you’re battling a Porsche or Maserati for the lead of the race each lap, you’re going consistently slower than some punter in 10th place, who is all alone on the track, and is able to go consistently slightly quicker than you in clear running space.

That isn’t racing, and I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated it makes me having to try to do one or the other, and I always end up unable to commit to one option, and end up trying to do both, which ends up with me doing a poor job either way. I still to this moment in the season don’t understand the stupidity in the points system. How it is now is basically time trials all weekend, and theoretically, one could fart around all weekend in practice and qually to save your tyres for the race, start right at the back, avoid all the risk & potential contacts of a race in the opening laps, and then pump out 5 quick laps at the back, and be declared the winner… it’s quite frankly a joke.

Racing to me, is the competition between drivers to race, and to be the fastest. That result and title comes from multiple factors, not just going fast around a track. It’s being the fastest, and the best, in all aspects. Qualifying, Starting, Pit stops, Passing, Race Craft, Managing your Tyres…. and for me after having raced at much higher levels of motorsport to come back to such stupid rules and point system really makes me feel unmotivated.

So anyway for now, we look forward to the final race of the season in two weeks in Zandvoort, which will be really interesting. I will be going into the weekend 100% with my usual way of driving, giving everything I have right till the chequered flag.

SPA Review

A weekend racing at Spa is never bad… but this one could have been better! It was great to be back at this legendary track, and I was feeling very confident in the car all Friday in practice. Unfortunately Qually didn’t go to plan as I had traffic each lap which was annoying, but it didn’t effect us to much in the end anyway as our starting postion for Saturdays 2hr race was taken from the average time of the quickest lap of both me and my team mate Immanuel, and with such changing conditions between the two qualifying sessions, it was impossible to get some consistancy and basically just came down to luck. Saturday was a super rough day at the office, and a painful reminder of how cruel this sport sometimes is! I started the race and managed to avoid a chaotic first corner and lap, which very nearly ended our race. I handed the car over to Immanuel after 35 minutes, where he ran a solid 50 minute stint before handing the car back to me for the remainder of the race. We had mega pace and I faught my way up to P2, with the lead car still having to make their final pit stop. Coming onto the start finish straight on my 7th lap of my stint, both drive shafts decided to call it quits forcing me to retire the car just along the pitwall costing what would have been our first win of the season. Super hard to swallow but proud of our effort none the less. On the plus side, I didn’t have far to walk back to the pits…. 😉

Spa Preview

So as my trip nears it’s end, I’m starting to get pretty excited to be racing at one of my favourite tracks again soon on the 7th of July. Spa Francorchamps is definitely one of the greatest tracks in the world, and my last time there in Formula 3 ended with me on the podium a couple times & starting from pole for the first time in F3, and in the wet. Sadly my start to that race definitely wasn’t the best in my career haha, and the thrill of  leading the field on the formation lap up to the starting grid ended pretty quickly when the lights went out when I dumped the clutch a little too eagerly and basically sat still in my grid box doing a burn out for what seemed like for ever, while almost the whole field passed me into turn one….!

Needless to say that won’t be happening this weekend thankfully rain or shine as we enjoy rolling starts in the GT4 championship!  But no I’m looking super forward to getting back in the car.

Sponsor day

So over the last two days, I’ve been with my team and our sponsors Internet X at a special event arranged by them and one of their close friends World Hosting days – together they invited around 50 of the worlds best from the hosting industry, and we were there to show them how to drive and share what it is we do with them. which was pretty cool because we don’t often get the chance to do that, or let alone take people for rides… especially me considering I have driven single seaters most of my time racing!

The track day was held is a super sick location just out of Salzburg at the Salzburgring, which is set in the middle of some hills & forrest, so it’s pretty beautiful. The first day we were there we were kind of doing our own thing, and setting up for all the guests the following day, where we took them for laps in our KTM X-Bow, along with the Reiter GT3 Camero & GT1 Murcielago.

Met some great people over the course of the weekend and really enjoyed showing them what I do and how I do it. My highlight was definitely taking a 9 year old boy of one of the guests around for some hot laps, while he was meant to be at school for the day. He was so super excited and to see his excitement beforehand and the massive smile on his face afterwards was super cool.

GT4 pau review

What a fantastic weekend…! Thoroughly enjoyed myself overt the last few days. The event itself reminded me a lot of Trois Rivieres which I touched on briefly in my last post, and so it really made me super pumped all weekend to be reminded of such good memories constantly everywhere I looked!

The whole town truly turns into a racing town for the whole event, and it makes for such a nice atmosphere when everywhere you go there is so much enthusiasm for motorsport and everything that goes along with it!

Atmosphere aside, the racing was great. We’re still ironing out some minor issues with the car such as the downshifts, which are still giving us a hard time when under abs. But apart from this the KTM was an absolute rocket ship here all weekend. This weekends balance of performance saw us loose quite a lot of RPM with a reduced RPM, so it made passing very difficult, and for a track where it’s really only possible to pass on the straights, it meant we didn’t have enough power to make it happen, in fact we ended up loosing substantially on every straight, no matter how close we were to the two Porsches infront, they would just pull away on the straights.

Qualifying was very frustrating for me, I was the quickest on track, but I didn’t get one clear lap in, until right on the last lap, where I had purple sectors until our downshift demon hit hard going into the final chicane, and when I needed 2nd gear I instead had 3rd gear and a whole lot of turbo lag for my drive onto the start finish straight – which ultimately cost me what would have certainly been pole position for race 1, so that was very frustrating, but it was still good enough for P3 and the second row of the grid, which was better than nothing.

Race 1 ended with mixed emotions, it started off great, and I held on to 3rd place with massive pressure from the 4th place bmw behind me, and the two Porsche Caymens started to pull a large gap to me, but after a couple laps into the race, I was able to pull a gap on the bimmer behind me, and caught up to the two Porsches, who continued to pull away from me on the straight each lap when I was right on their tail and ready to pass, so it was pretty frustrating, but then to make matters worse, we top 3 had been running our own race for quite some time, when we hit a lapped car who then proceeded to let the two Caymens through under blue flag, but raced me under blue flags for a whole lap before he let me pass, which let the BMW behind me catch up and squeeze past me, so that was seriously annoying and unfair, and ruined some great racing. This was only the beginning though as it was at this stage basically dark, and with our radio not working, and not being able to see the pit board, I didn’t know when to pit, which resulted in me coming in 2 laps early, and the team & Immanuel my team mate not expecting me – so it was absolute chaos, not to mention it had started to rain, and there was mass confusion whether we should switch to wets or not, but given it was Immanuels first time in the wet & at a street circuit I made the call to switch, and amidst all this confusion, the car stalled and we lost our pit timer, so we ended up releasing Immanuel around 40 seconds later then we had to.. so that dropped us right back and from there we were sitting ducks when the track started to become quicker in the closing stages of the race on slicks.

Race 2 wasn’t much better, and Immanuel was running a solid 10th place before touching a road marking on the exit of turn 9 and touched the wall ending our race before I got a chance to drive – so it was disappointing, but at the same time that’s racing, and it’s just how it goes sometimes, especially in endurance racing when you’re sharing the car…. So onwards and upwards to race 3 in almost two months time in Spa!

GT4 pau preview

My second race of the season is fast approaching, and I’m looking seriously forward to it! The annual Grand Prix de Pau is coming this weekend, and after following it each year through Formula 3, but having never getting the chance to race there myself, I’m pretty pumped to get cracking!

I have a true love for street circuits, after my first ever one in Trois Rivieres Quebec Canada back in 2011 in Formula Ford led to one of my favourite races of my career ever, battling from like 9th place to finish on the podium in 3rd with by far the most pace out of anyone on track…. So since then I have always loved street circuits!

I’ve gone on to race at a few since then, like the Canadian Grand Prix, as well as Adelaide Australia, which was my first Formula 3 race ever, which I think also helped my confidence I now have to street circuits as it was my first time experiencing a car with so much downforce, and having to trust it straight away at a track with walls everywhere! So with all these positive experiences at street circuits I’m feeling very confident for the weekend ahead!

GT4 Race Monza

Mixed feelings after the weekend. I feel like I underperformed, but at the same time I’m happy with how we worked together as a team, and considering everything was new for everyone, I feel it was pretty good none the less.

I struggled on Friday with the braking, but mostly the downshifts. This car has one serious downfall so far, which is the down shifting. Because the car is over spec’d & geometrized, mainly with the tyres and brakes, it gives it incredible braking performance, which is too good for the gearbox, which has trouble gearing down while the car is stopping so quickly…. Which creates one of the most annoying problems I’ve ever had to deal with in a race car, in that in all the heavy braking zones, you have problems getting down the gears fast enough, and mostly you end up already at the apex of the corner, in the wrong gear, and having to consciously look at the dash instead of the track during braking to see if you’re hooking the right gear yet…. Which is definitely not conducive to going fast, which sucks… big time. Besides that, we also had a very annoying problem with our radio, which only worked very poorly on the start finish straight, and this created problems during all the safety cars and re-starts, as well as communicating problems that came up during sessions etc…

Race 1 I started in 11th  and I had a mega start, and was up to  4th coming out of the first corner, but I was forced wide on the entry of turn two by a Camaro, and this slowed me down enough to become a sitting duck to then be passed by 4 other ktm’s… so was pretty annoying. From the I struggled for page for the rest of my stint, and to make matters worse when I handed the car over to Immanuel, we mucked up out pitstop and released him 3 seconds too early…. So we received a 30 second penalty after the race, but this still left us in p10! Which we were all pretty happy about having scored points in our first ever race together as a team & in GT4.

The second race was a little harder on us, and Immanuel was having a good battle for 12th place when he spun the car in Parabolica, and again the following lap in the lesmos. This meant he handed the car over to me with some nice clear running space to pump out some fast laps, which I did for 3 laps, before I caught up to an amateur driver who held me up for the remainder of the race without being able to pass. The annoying thing with our KTM is it’s by far the quickest car in the corners, and braking, but this means they kill our RPM with the balance of performance to make it even, but as a result we end up killing everyone in braking and turns, but getting pipped on the straights because we don’t have the same power due to the reduced revs, and so at a long track like Monza, it makes it extremely difficult for us to properly race / battle the other cars – so hopefully they fix this before the next race In 3 weeks time in the South of France at the infamous Pau Grand Prix! Until then…