Just last week I returned home from a successful event in Hungary where Stephen Earle and I took the 2017 Blancpain Sprint Cup title.
This is a huge achievement for me personally and I’m just massively proud to be representing South Africa in such a competitive series. Thank you to Kessel Ferrari, Stephen Earle and Alan Macdonald for the work they put into getting me into the Sprint Cup series.
It was a really tough race in an older spec car – which also had no air conditioning (it was like an asthmatic breathing through a straw) – but we did well to win Race 1. Race 2 didn’t end as well when we were taken out by a Bentley with just 10 minutes left to go.
On a personal note I managed to place the car in the top 20 in Qualifying, just 0.7 off the overall Pole Position, and also had an amazing start in Race 2.
With the benefit of experience, having taken the start in Race 1, I was able to position the car perfectly on the opening lap. I knew exactly which corners I needed to be on the outside for and which to be on the inside for. The result was a 10 place jump in one lap, from 30th to 20th, at a track which is notoriously difficult to overtake on.
It was definitely the best start of my GT3 career and I hope I can carry this confidence into the final two events of the year.
With the Sprint Cup Title wrapped up my focus switches to the Blancpain Endurance Cup and Blancpain Overall AM Championship. I am leading both and if I just finish the first race at the Nurburgring next week, I will be crowned the Blancpain AM Overall Champion.
That being said we still want to give our best performance at the Nurburgring, I’m not one to just ‘circulate’, so plenty of studying and training has gone in to prepare for the race. We will be racing the 458 GT3 again which is a little bit slower than the modern machines, but on new tires it can hold it’s own for a few laps.
To prepare for a track I’ve never been to, I do a lot of simulater work (Playstation games, literally) and watch previous events on YouTube with a pen and paper in hand. You can pick up more than you think from these two methods and in my opinion they are even more valuable than a track walk.
After Nurburgring we head to Barcelona for the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup. I raced in Barcelona last year where I took a race win in the International GT Open with Stephen Earle. It’s a track I really enjoy and can’t wait to experience in the high downforce 488 GT3.
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