Karim Ojjeh ends at second place on Silverstone circuit!
Karim Ojjeh managed to bring Blancpain Sports Club a great second place on Silverstone circuit. He tells us his impressions and his race in exlusivity:
A complicated primer
FP1: it was a tough session under the rain. Learning the track and car under the rain was a first. However, I used the time to understand the front of the car by actively creating a lot of understeer–which translates in the front going straight as you are turning the wheel. The times were not a matter of concern.
FP2: we were hoping for dry session. It had been sunny until 30 minutes before FP2 and the rain came dashing! We still went out for one lap, but pitted right away as it was simply not worth it. We decided to wait in the pits to see how others were performing. It lasted only 8 minutes before a car lost control on the first corner and crashed into the wall. I witness the crash live, as I saw the parts of the car flying. The driver was okay, but they stopped the session. The car was destroyed!
Qualifying: again tricky conditions but with less rain. We went out and slowly build confidence in the car as the tires heated. Lap after lap everyone was faster. However, the session was red flagged, as two cars had hit the wall. Luckily there were able to retrieve the cars and we had some time left to up our game. I had only one more two more laps, I tried to push without taking too much risk. On the last lap I decided to keep the throttle down hoping the car would not aquaplane. It worked, and I qualified 4!
Qualifying race: as the lights went from red to green and coming into the first corner the car on my right almost went to a spin. I stopped accelerating and avoided touching him. He continued and I was able to maintain my position. As the field settled the first two cars were out of reach and we had a fight for third. After about 5 minutes into the race, I got a very good exit from Beckets which allowed me to go side by side. On braking I passed the car and took third. I tried to reach the top guys cars but they were too far and settled for 3rd with best lap time in the race.
Exciting main race
Main race: I started 3rd but lost my place on the first corner. There was no point in having a contact as the race was long–40 minutes. The first two cars “again” created a gap very quickly. Within 5 laps I passed the car in front and retook my 3rd place. By that time I was by myself and could concentrate on the track. I kept on dropping my lap times and caught up the front runners hoping to pass, but it was simply impossible when the cars are so close in lap times. It was a good fight. The first car was sanctioned with a 30 second penalty of track limits, so I finished 2nd again with the fasted time of the race!
So: good weekend! You can find the racing on YouTube. Just search for Blancpain Sports Club and will find both races–the last 16 minutes of the main race are worth watching.
NEXT: Paul Ricard at the end of June!