The evening weather was lovely - warm and calm - but as we were too late for scrutineering we leisurely setup and made sure that the bikes were ready to be inspected first thing in the morning. It certainly was nice to have a night's sleep uninterrupted by overnight aircraft take-offs!
The weather forecast for the Sunday (both for Donington and Darley) was constantly changing - so we were unsure whether it would be wet, dry, damp - or anywhere inbetween! Around 3am, the rain started falling on the caravan and when we woke, the paddock and track were wet... It didn't take long for most of the wet surfaces to dry, but it looked like there were still wet patches on the track so we walked to the circuit to take a better look - and it was then that Andy Barber invited us to a lap in the course car (our first ever car lap around Darley!) and we saw that the majority of the course was dry... So dry tyres it was then!
A quite poor Formula 600 Race 2 start saw us enter the chicane in 3rd position, before moving up to 2nd position at Park corner on the opening lap. From this point we should have been chasing down Ben Dale to challenge for the win, but it seemed that we didn't have either the tyre nor the enthusiasm to push beyond the limits that we were encountering - so circulated as fast as we could without making any mistakes. That plan worked fine until lap 5 when we missed a gear coming out of the hairpin, which allowed Albert Walker to come passed. This mistake, plus a couple of the following lap, allowed him to established a gap... With a new race-face on, we got our head down and closed the gap back up. We were close enough to attempt a pass at the hairpin at the final lap, but decided to wait until Paddock corner for a last-corner last-lap manoeuvre - but unfortunately the opportunity wasn't there. We crossed the line in 3rd place!
This race was tricky as we knew we had speed, but needed to make sure that we secured some decent championship points, so we took our time to make careful overtakes. Putting in some quicker laps the traction control was kicking in, meaning that we couldn't lap as quick as we wanted to. After doing some calculations after the race it turns out that the tyres had done almost 300 laps - so we had certainly got our money's worth!
After taking the race lead on lap 3, we set the fastest lap of the race on lap 5 - but again didn't manage to see the chequered flag as the red flag was shown on lap 9 (of 10). Winning the race was a relief after what had become a long and exhausting weekend. Some new rubber will be fit to both machines for the next race meeting!
Twins Championship Standings (Top 5)
1st - David Carson 30
2nd - Chris Barton 16
3rd - Jim Barnett 12
4th - Josh Froggatt 12
5th - Richard Saville 10
Formula 600 Championship Standings (Top 5)
1st - Albert Walker 22
2nd - Ben Dale 19
3rd - David Carson 18
4th - Richard Cooper 15
5th - Stephen Parsons 12