It bums me out to learn that Robert never even got to enjoy his splendid pole position start. Atrocious luck, Rob. I knew something was wrong early on as I could only see dark coloured cars ahead of me. Where was the white Honda? For sure, Clive was there, big as life in my mirrors for a time but where was the other one?
Axel really put his stamp on this one! Grats, Cookie!
With Rob a no-show, Tristan was surely to take up the challenge but it soon became apparent that Cookie was in great form with the BRM singing along at a great old rate. Tristan seemed to have P2 pretty much secured but a lurid slide pruned a corner off quite early on and that was that. Bad luck, TB.
For me, good fun in a real nail-biter right to the end. A pretty reasonable result having erased to some degree my mediocre performance at Riverside.
Early duels with Clive and Dean were pretty tense with exchanges of positions coming from minor gaffes from all concerned opening the door for pursuers. Lap09 had me holding my breath and wide-eyed as I turned in to T1 only to find Dean's LF corner taking up my bit of road. Scary stuff for a moment and Dean only narrowly avoided going for a swim.
Clive got a really up close and personal look at the whole deal. All three of us could have been done on the spot but it was not our time.
Later, Dean spun off crippling his efforts and Clive suffered a blown engine. This left me alone in a good P2 but I could faintly hear a 32-valve Climax V-8 not far off my right shoulder. This was Roo doing his best to spoil my day. For many a lap, the gap was sustained and on some tours, I lost his engine note altogether. PHEW! Am I homefree? Nope... A few spotty laps getting the Ferrari just a little too bit sideways scrubbed off speed and again, I could hear the Climax mill. And it's getting louder.
With just a handful of laps to go, Roo was most definitely catching a tow and the battle was joined. A pass and re-pass swap ensued on Lap35 and it would all be down to a turn of the cards for the last lap. Roo lead at the S/F line with me right on his tail. I was running a tallish 4th gear which allowed me to carry more rpm to start the lap and I managed to slip by on the right for T1. Roo was very gentlemanly and did not make an attempt to cover low. I only just managed to hold the place in time for Curveone. In the run up to Zagaria, Roo was certainly making inroads on my tenuous lead but just fell short of getting into position to challenge. Changing down to 4th for that curve, I was able to hold it over to the Curva del Cancello. This made the difference as I was able to lead into, through and out of this treacherous corner and prevail at the line by a mere tenth. Great drive, Roo!
It wasn't lost on me in viewing the replay cap that my old ami, Phiiippe was having a fine run and probably would have finished P4 except for a late-race spin. Good job, PG!