Early speed gives way to race day struggles ; Holman hangs on to top ten despite tire problems and intense competition 20 year old Burlington Ontario native Chris Holman had a wild ride at Lime Rock park Saturday in the 4th instalment of the ...
Early speed gives way to race day struggles ; Holman hangs on to top ten despite tire problems and intense competition
20 year old Burlington Ontario native Chris Holman had a wild ride at Lime Rock park Saturday in the 4th instalment of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup race series. Most importantly Holman stays in the thick of the championship points, which tightened considerably with the Lime Rock results factored in.
The weekend started strong for Holman who set the 3rd fastest time in Friday morning practice. "This is a fantastic track,' enthused Holman. "one of the most fun I have driven yet. There is some serious grip in the fresh asphalt."
The session ended with several drivers having blistered tires, which caused sufficient concern to change the qualifying format for the afternoon. The drivers were flagged into the pits at the 15 minute mark to examine tire wear. Holman only got one clean lap in the first half and came in P10 on the time sheets.Unfortunately the session was cancelled due to safety concerns from further tire wear, and the drivers returned to the garage. "I was 1/10 out of fifth place, and was confident I could challenge for pole with a few more minutes on track." noted Holman.
Overnight the Arciero Miller team made chassis changes to dial out some grip to relieve strain on front left tires. Drivers were given a bonus 10 minute warm-up session Saturday morning to check tires again, and Holman continued his good pace, carding P6 in practice times.
After the session drivers gridded up for the race start. Holman was mired in heavy traffic through turn 1 and slipped 2 spots before finding space to run. On lap 6 Holman found himself in the eye of a storm in turn one when 2 cars collided immediately in front of him, sending one up on two wheels and the other off the track and out of the race. "I almost missed the crash but one of them hit my left front corner," explained Holman. "the impact hurt my handling for the rest of the race."
The incident caused Holman to slow and fall back to 16th. With the benefit of 2 full course yellows, he made his way to 10th with two to go. A final restart from yellow saw Holman storm down the inside and take 9th with a daring pass into turn 1. Heavy dicing over the next two laps reversed the position and Holman crossed the stripe in 10th. "Pretty disappointing day, considering my practice times," commented Holman. "I am still in the points hunt but can't afford another poor race."
A month's break leads to the first of four races in 3 weekends starting in Iowa on September 20. "I'm looking forward to Iowa," noted Holman. "I can't get enough of racing these diesel Jetta's - just dynamite cars to drive, and the fans hang around our paddock to ask questions and see the vehicles."