My second race in the Premier Division


Bert Van Waes

Spa Francorchamps


Lowland Racing Team

As the day I would race on my home track became closer, the nerves went higher. Due to some modifications on the car and a trip to the family back home (read vacation, and a new pc, new beta) I had done little practice time... I wasn't confident enough on this track with the new car and knew i was going to be at the back of the pack. It was fingers crossed in the hopes the skys would be clear, but we all know Spa...

In the first qualify session the weather was pretty good, but i wasn't. And the best spot i could get was 23th. Pat had some problems on his own and started on 21th. But we were both starting with the mind set on a finish, and any points would be nice to take.

Like the first race, standing on the starting grid brings up alot off tension and stress... "Just ease off into the first corners Bert! Chil!"

And we're all off to a nice start, everybody keeps it together and no spins from the line.

Pat was starting well just infront off me and i followed him to the bottom of the raidillon. we were going carefully into it when everything happend at once.. Jason hit Marks behind and both went off, just infront of the toyotas.

This caused a chain reaction of braking and hits here and there behind them. Pat just got through the closing gap infront of him.

But i got hit by Wesley just before i was going to avoid the spinning Michel, who got hit himself by Chris. Oh boy, the back pack exploded, it seems...

Pat went through in position 15, but for me, it was already time to go for the pit. Pat looked ready for a good race though, and he was far more confident with the car. With a nice position now he was going for it!

At the end of the first lap, he was fighting for 13th postition in the bus stop. Aritan was looking strong though, and this promised to be a nice fight.

I myself entered the pit together with Jason, to repair some suspension damage myself. Seeing so many people falling out of the pace with problems i had a feeling this could still go well...

On to lap 2 for Pat now... Jan run wide at T14 Stavelot, at the back part of the track, and Pat went for 13th.

Seconds later on the fast curve, T15 Stavelot, he overtakes Aritan, who recovered nicely from too much throttle on the exit before the curve. 12th it is!

On that moment i just leave the pit and rejoin in 20th position. And what a horrible mistake i made by changing tactics from medium to hards with double the fuel aboard. Our setup wasn't made for this, as i soon would find out. I was really looking for grip that wasn't there and i had a hard time to not go off track, and that all whilst the first 10 were ready to double me... Focus was there for them, but i lost seconds by just going aside for them.

Lap 3

At the back section Pat went off in the left fast one (double gauche). and he lost two places, he touched the stacked tyres a bit but the car seemed to go well and he kept going for another lap. Hoping the car would hold on...

Lap 4

I'm in 19th position as i passed Mark who went into the pit. But understeer to oversteer everywhere wasn't putting any confidence on my shoulders.
Pat won a place halfway the lap but his car seemed to gently oversteer a bit and the suspension problem was getting worse, and on the time it went realy noticable, He crashed. The corner it happend was the worst place where it could happen, Blanchimont... Time to put the car straight in the pit.

When he stopped at the spot the car swepped to the left and came to a rather abrupt halt there. Nothing anymore, nada... The mechanics checked it out and found that the rear axle was broken hard, due to the crash into the wall.
It just went to rubbish the moment he came to a halt, Pat's day was over as they pushed him into the box...

Lap 4

19th position for me and starting to get used to the harder tyres...

Lap 5

18th due to Pat's crash, for me it was going fine now. Finally some confidence over my shoulders, and gradually i'm building up some speed...

But in the same lap i pushed to hard on the same corner where Pat's first off was, in the first one off the double gauche, and i slammed it hard in the right wall. Wing gone, so back to pits. Aiai!

I changed back to mediums and went out again. in P20
But being on cold tyres i lost it a lap later at the end of the straight whilst braking, just before the entering of les Combes... Wing gone again, back to pit... My god, this was getting embarrising...
I came back out of the pit on 18th. The guys behind me seemed to have problems too because there was nobody to see... Laps later i was still struggling myself with the wet track... Thoughts were filling in my head. "Oh my, wy didn't i practice that much?.."
But still, i won another place from a dropout... "Maybe just finish the race Bert, that will be enough". I was thinking this in lap 8 and already four others were gone.. 17th now...

And then, the turn i least expected it to go wrong, it all went wrong, the backend locked up under braking and downshifting in the chicane after double gauche... Spin, into the tyres and wham... race, over!!

Talking about a déja vu here...

This day was a black page in the history of our little team Lowland Racing, Or should i say: "how low can you go?" to myself... I need to put the things together for the next race. Luckily for me there's a great Teamboss helping me around. And he hopes for himself for some better luck too. Because the pitstop was the most awkward moment of our race, and it wasn't in his hands...

It promised to be a day never to be forgotten... But i think the Lowlanders better forget it as soon as possible... Spa has his moments, and we have experienced some on it ourselfs... What a track!

Tx to all you guys, to MMG MAK, Mr. Kaczmarek, and to DaBoss!!!
See you all in Istanbull

Bert Van Waes

Tx Pat and Eric!!! It was nice to make it 4 days after the race Pat, brought some stuff back up here too . :)

Eric, it's Bert :) , haha!!

Bert Van Waes

Tx David! :)

Eric, you should try to take a nap here and there, to recharge the batteries... ;)