Nick Foster Release: It has been quite a big build up to Round 1 of Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. Unfortunately our testing program was not quite as big as we’d hoped to try and maximise the early races of the championship, but nevertheless I was quite happy with where we were at as a team.
It’s quite a unique experience moving to the other side of the world to compete in a non-English speaking country. A big thanks to Team75, they have made me feel very welcome and assisted me in getting set-up as quickly as possible to be running at 100% as early as possible.
Practice – 9th
Having not driven on Oschersleben before practice for me it was very important to get much needed track time. As I have quickly come to find is normal in Germany, practice started off in the rain. A new wet tyre that we have not previously used was bolted to the car and we headed out onto a slowly drying track.
During the opening wet 30 mins we continued to try different setup configurations to try and find an optimum setting for the new wet tyre. It was obviously important; as it was likely we would drive on them further during the weekend!
We pitted for slicks mid way through the session and continued to make improvements as the track dried. Late in the session we where running well inside the top 5 before I pushed too hard and had an off-track excursion.
I sat out the final few minuets of the session and as a result dropped down the order quite substantially as I missed the track at its driest.
Qualifying – 9th, 9th
It was looking to be a dry session as we rolled onto the track. Unfortunately as we headed out on track Oschersleben copped a small drizzle that coated the entire track with water. Straight out of the gate on slicks I pushed maximum 100% to try and get as many laps on slicks on the driest possible track expecting rain and to hopefully start close to the front.
Stupidly though I pushed far too hard for the track conditions and ran off the track and made contact with wall at the final turn. I tried to make the most of early dry conditions but in the end the track dried for the majority of qualifying while I was sitting in pit-lane after making an early mistake.
I was obviously disappointed with my efforts and as a result I would start both races from P9.
Race 1 – 3rd
Starting from P9 the goal was obviously to minimise the damage from a poor qualifying and try to score as many points as possible. Having not done a start since October I must admit I was slightly nervous, however I got away well and immediately jumped into P7 by Turn 2. Some contact between a few cars in front of me on the exit of Turn 2 had me jump into P4 on the run to Turn 3.
For much of the race I pushed to pressure P3, but eventually we both caught P2. With a few mistakes up front I ended up P3 with 5 laps from home and settled for a strong podium finish in my first German hit out. We where for sure lucky, but we have worked hard to be competitive and it was a good result for the team.
Race 2 – 5th
Having come off a podium in Race 1 it was always going to be difficult to match our first race performance starting from the same grid position in P9, but it was important nonetheless to push on as much as possible.
Unfortunately a pretty average getaway had me only picking up 2 spots by the end of the first flying lap. As it turned out for much of the race I was in a pack of 4 cars all dicing for 4th. As the race progressed a slowly worked my way into P5 and with 4 laps to go pushed hard to get to P4 but unfortunately I had burned up my tyres early in the race trying to get past everyone.
Still in the end P5 was a reasonable result having started from P9, minimising the points damage to our weekend. In the end we actually left the first race weekend sitting in P3 in the championship, so it was a good start and something we can build on over the year.