MAINTAINING A CHAMPION'S LEAD Sorry for the slight delay in letting you know how things went at Road America, but I'm sure GM's excellent reports have given you an idea of what happened to us and our competitors in what turned out to be a ...
MAINTAINING A CHAMPION'S LEAD
Sorry for the slight delay in letting you know how things went at Road America, but I'm sure GM's excellent reports have given you an idea of what happened to us and our competitors in what turned out to be a close and interesting race.
It's been such a busy couple of months both on and off the track. Alongside our three races in July and our post Le Mans celebrations in Detroit, I've managed to move house and take the family on a holiday with me prior to my last race in Road America.
Our family holidays are fast becoming legend within Corvette Racing as we always seem to have some drama or another! This time I, my wife Helen and our three children Lily (5), Isaac (3) and Fergus (10 months) arrived at JFK in the middle of a heat-wave, had to wait ages for a car mix-up to be sorted out and then broke down on the way out of the airport. By the time we'd got that sorted out -- in 104oF temperatures -- and set off on our way several hours later it was rush hour and my temper and temperature had been sorely tested.
Unfortunately it didn't get much better as Fergus went down with a really nasty gastric bug which ended up hospitalising the poor little chap. As you can imagine, this was extremely worrying for us all but he received wonderful care in the Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut and we were luckily able to all head off for Elkhart Lake as a family rather than me having to go on my own.
The main aims for me and Olivier were not only, and most obviously, to win, but also to build on our points tally in the Drivers' Championship. Qualifying didn't really go as planned and, despite beating my record from last year, we found ourselves 4th in class. We knew from that point it was going to be incredibly close in the race, and that strategy and pit stops would play a big part in the result.
From my side I had a great scrap with Darren Turner in the Aston which went on for some time and I managed to pass him for the lead even though we had a bit of contact in doing so. I went to see him afterwards but we both agreed that the racing had been a bit of fun, and that the contact was a racing thing. It was cool.
Full course caution periods have sometimes fallen our way, but this time one of them went in favour of the no. 3 car and that put Ron and Johnny a lap ahead of us. We knew from the start that strategy might dictate the end result and that's what happened -- there was no way back to the lead for us. It's a shame we didn't win, but I'd have to say we were pleased to come away with second place and get points again. At this stage of the season, there's still all to play for and Olivier and I don't intend yielding to our competitors an inch. We like being Champions and want to hang onto that title for a good while longer!
Next stop is Mosport Park in Canada, one of my favourite circuits. We'll keep you posted.