October 6 / 2016
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.