Chris Holman reflects on first 3 races of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI As the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series enters its mid-point at Lime Rock Park on August 15 it has become increasingly possible that there could be 8 different race winners.
Chris Holman reflects on first 3 races of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI
As the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series enters its mid-point at Lime Rock Park on August 15 it has become increasingly possible that there could be 8 different race winners. In 4th place driver Chris Holman's opinion, there are a few key ingredients needed to clinch the championship.
"I tried to force the pace right away in race one," commented Holman, "and I quickly found that is not great strategy in a spec factory race series where the entire field is very close in lap times. No one is able to run away from the pack and a small error can cost you many positions that can't be made up in 30 minute race."
Race 2 at Mosport gave Holman a good 2nd place result and impressed on him the importance of patience on the start. "My style has been to go 100% at the drop of the flag," noted Holman "but at Mosport I lifted, created some space and was able to steer through the numerous cars that crashed in turn one."
Race 3 in Portland brought the other key point into focus for Holman. "You have to get good track position -- in some series a fast driver can go back to front but it just hasn't happened with the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup races. A couple of drivers have moved up 15 spots or so previously but at Portland the top mover only gained 9 spots in a 30 minute race. What I did in qualifying (P5) was almost as important as what I did in the race."
Holman says his race strategy is evolving for the Lime Rock event. "In Portland I focused on staying out of trouble and drove a fairly conservative race." "With the points tightening up it is time to turn it up a bit. I don't think anyone will win the series without taking some risks. The key will be to do that without taking myself out -- even a small off can cause enough damage to end your day."
Finally, Holman agrees that luck could play a huge role in the outcome of the race and series. "We have seen bad luck come to different competitors in each race so far," Holman said. "Flat tires, electrical problems, unavoidable contact from other competitors, even a fire extinguisher going off in one car. I'm hoping my bad luck was used up in Virginia (a late race crash) and that smart racing will put me where I need to be at the end."