Magny Cours was finally again a race with some possibility to familiarize with the circuit on Friday. I left Delft Thursday afternoon with my parents. We drove deep into France till we were about 2 hours from the destination when we settle for the night on a parking place at the motorway. The only notable thing on the way were some downpours which flooded the motorway and for a couple of kms reduced our speed to 70 kph. The next morning I noticed the influence of the rain on my camper because it was noticeably cleaner than how I left Delft. I had hoped that the weather this far down in France would be much better than the showers I left behind in Holland. Although Thursday evening had been promising the next morning wasn’t particularly good with heavy overcast. I had planned to use the free practices in the afternoon to learn the circuit and check my gear ratios which I set from the map in Delft. I hoped that there would be a dry session. When we arrived at the circuit it was still dry. Everybody just went out for the second session. They hadn’t gotten to the track when it started to pour. I haven’t seen how it was out there but most came back very soon. I left the third session for what it was as it was still wet and I gathered I wouldn’t gain enough information from that. I gambled on the fourth and last session which was indeed dry. The track is not as wide as you expect from a F1 circuit and you don’t feel as lost as you would think if you view the circuit from the grandstands. I found that my gear ratios for 3^rd and 4^th were too long so I changed these after the session. I was to occupied with the circuit that I forgot to time my laps so I had no comparison other than I followed Matthew for a couple of laps at the end of the session and he was not pulling away from me.
Now with gear ratios (19:32, 21:30, 23:28 and 25:26) I started qualification. I got my times down to roughly 2:00 quite quickly. Then there were a few laps that were marred with little nuisances - cars in the way and a spin, which resulted in a few slower laps. Then I tried to pick up where I left off and I managed to pull out two 1:59s and a 1:58 at the end of the first session. The 1:58.9 was good for a fourth place. I might aim for more but realistically this was the best I could do.
We had a lot of time between the first and second qualifying. I didn't have anything to do. Nothing broken so nothing to fix. After this long wait we went out again. As it was quite a warm day the track had warmed up considerably. I expected this to be the slower session but given the fact that most my competitors were like myself still familiarizing themselves with the track I expected times to go down. A down they went but for mine. Maybe I was trying to hard but there was no improvement. I couldn't even come close to my morning times. My fastest time was a 2:00.7 what was the 11th time of the session. Luckily no one behind me improved on my morning session time so I still was on fourth place for the race.
Although I found the first gear a bit to long for the Adelaide hairpin I gathered I didn't lose to much time and for all the rest of the slow sections it was perfect. So after a long discussion with Herbert G I left everything as it was.
The organizer threw a partly where we were all invited. I drank quite a bit of very sweet wine but not as much as Matthew and Christian. I didn't want to end up racing with a hangover. I don't know how they felt but I left a bit earlier then they did. I went back to my camper where we had a good BBQ and a couple of proper glasses of wine.
|Class||1st Qualification||2nd Qualification|
|1||Matthew Dean||Reynard SF88||B||1:56,695||1:57,147|
|2||Tony Walsh||Reynard FF 88||B||1:58,038||1:57,287|
|3||Jaap Blijleven||Reynard FF 88||B||1:57,375||1:57,823|
|4||Ed Waalewijn||van Diemen RF82||B||1:58,987||2:00,782|
|5||Alan Crocker||Ray FF71||C||2:00,774||1:59,426|
|6||Paul McMorran||Crosslé 25F||C||1:59,724||1:59,576|
|7||Stephen Hagan||Crosslé 32F||C||1:59,977||1:59,915|
|8||Christian Schröter||van Diemen RF82||B||2:00,047||1:59,921|
|9||James Hagan||Crosslé 32F||C||2:00,006||2:00,989|
|10||Rebecca Dean||Reynard FF 88||B||2:00,110||2:00,541|
|11||Nils Leuber||Vaney 71/2||C||2:00,263||2:00,213|
|12||Chris Whittingham||Reynard FF88||B||2:00,403||2:00,300|
|13||Stephen Collyer||Dulon MP15 (Merlon)||C||2:03,168||2:01,913|
|14||Alan Williamson||van Diemen RF81||B||2:03,816||2:03,098|
|15||Paul Hubbard||Merlyn Mk 20||C||2:03,892||2:03,720|
|16||Povl Barfod||Titan Mk6||C||2:08,845||2:06,722|
|17||Johannes Kistler||van Diemen RF88||B||2:06,907||—|
|18||Robert Boyer||van Diemen RF81||B||2:15,326||2:15,227|
Just before the start
I was behind Jaap Blijleven at the start. We were already at racing speed when I was still in the chicane before start/finish. The 2-litre of Peter Richards was just behind Jaap and blocked me from following in Jaap's strides. In the first corner I was unopposed but in Estroril Alan who had started behind me had a look on the outside. I just let my car run wide and that took care of that treat. On the run to Adelaide I just outran Alan, although he made a half hearted attempt to outbrake me, I easily defended the corner. This was the last time I saw him in mirrors. I saw that Matthew Dean was passed by both Jaap and Tony Walsh, and the three of them were creating a gap towards the 2-litre in front of me. I tried to pass Peter in the rest of the lap but I couldn't find a place where I could get by. I lost 2.9 s to Jaap who was leading our class. In lap 2 luckily Peter braked too late in Chateaux d'Eau and went wide and I was able to nip by.
Not to far from Tony at the end of lap 2
I set out in pursuit of the leading three and to my surprise I actually kept up with them in lap 4 and 5 (- 4.4 s). All the while I was pursued by the 2-litre of Peter Richards but I could fend him off quite easily. In the next laps I lost a little ground on the leading trio but they were still close enough to see the changes in position as Jaap was now leading Matthew and Tony. In lap 8 I passed the 2-litre of Peter Hug who had made a mistake. He tried to repass me and eventually shot past in the Grand Curve only to lose it just in front of me. This cost me a little time so I was at 5.9s. The leading group was pulling away from me and as the 2-litre of Peter Richards was still hounding me, I let him pass me to see whether he could pull me towards the front. His speed hadn't improved a lot and I didn't get the pull I was hoping for. When we came up to lap the 2-litre of Manfred Andernach Peter managed to pass him just before the first corner. As there was a yellow flag shown because of the car of Peter Hug which was still parked there, I could not pass and had to bide my time following him at half throttle. I now had lost any hope of improving my position on my own merit. I just had to coast home and see what happened at the front. I could not see any car in my mirrors so there was no treat for my position. I kept my concentration and completed the last laps at a steady pace. The three boys up front didn't make a mistake and let each other live so I finished fourth.
|1||Jaap Blijleven||Reynard FF 88||B||13||25:49,461||1:57,229|
|2||Matthew Dean||Reynard FF 88||B||13||25:49,706||1:57,232||-0,245|
|3||Tony Walsh||Reynard FF 88||B||13||25:52,034||1:57,092||-2,573|
|4||Ed Waalewijn||van Diemen RF 82||B||13||26:08,783||1:57,932||-19,322|
|5||Paul McMorran||Crossle 25F||C||12||24:16,409||1:59,656||1L|
|6||Nils Leuber||Vaney 71/2||C||12||24:17,682||1:59,907||1L|
|7||Chris Whittingham||Reynard FF88||B||12||24:24,662||1:59,238||1L|
|8||James Hagan||Crosslé 32F||C||12||24:25,680||2:00,083||1L|
|9||Christian Schröter||van Diemen RF82||B||12||24:30,223||1:59,616||1L|
|10||Alan Crocker||Ray FF71||C||12||24:35,601||2:00,010||1L|
|11||Alan Williamson||van Diemen RF81||B||12||24:37,484||2:01,140||1L|
|12||Stephen Collyer||Dulon MP15 (Merlon)||C||12||24:57,604||2:02,445||1L|
|13||Paul Hubbard||Merlyn Mk 20||C||12||25:25,446||2:02,411||1L|
|14||Povl Barfod||Titan Mk6||C||12||26:12,228||2:07,718||1L|
|Rebecca Dean||Reynard FF 88||B||5||10:13,949||1:59,990||8L|
|Robert Boyer||van Diemen RF81||B||5||11:54,319||2:13,797||8L|
|Stephen Hagan||Crosslé 32F||C||4||11:09,357||2:07,408||9L|
|Frank Novak||Reynard SF88||A||13||24:10,180||1:50,792|