28th - 30th Sept 2018 Spa - Francorchamps
ALP Racing triumphs at Spa!
What a weekend!
All of the highs and lows of motor sport perfectly captured in 3 exhilarating days at what is undoubtedly one of the greatest motor circuits in the world.
The team arrived at the track on Friday, all fresh-faced and raring to go, for a gruelling day of free practice and qualifying.
Neither of the drivers could be considered Spa veterans with Alan only having completed a track day there previously, so a lot of effort went into the practice sessions to get the entry and braking points spot on for this demanding circuit.
Although the rain clouds circled, we were blessed with a dry day (unusual for Spa this time of year) and with the car safely tucked up in its garage, the team slipped off to discuss the day’s track data over a couple of well-earned beers.
On Saturday the weather was perfect for racing – crisp and cold with a bright blue, sunny sky. We had qualified the car in the top third of a 63-car grid, which was pretty impressive given the machinery that was there, and with the first race not starting until the afternoon we all had plenty of time to discuss race tactics, driver changes and refuelling drill.
Come the first race, David Brise made a brilliant start and escaped the carnage at La Source and was making steady progress until 20 minutes into the race, when there was a bit of an "incident" at the Bus Stop chicane and the Saker came off second best to a silhouette BMW M4.
Arriving back in the pits with a splitter-less car, David was beside himself, but unfortunately it was just one of those things - that’s motor racing.
After a hurried visit to numerous shops around the circuit, we cobbled together the necessary spares to mend the slightly battered Saker. Several hours later, with repairs completed, we headed back to base to contemplate what might have been and prepare ourselves for the next day.
Sunday dawned even brighter than the day before and we were upbeat despite the trials and tribulations of Saturday – we were going racing again!
The race was incredibly tough and David guided the car steadily through the pack to get near the front. The second stint driven by Alan was very difficult due to the fact that the tyres had degraded more rapidly than anticipated.
We had never raced on Hankook tyres before and this was all part of our learning process - although Spa is not really the place to come and learn!
However, none of this mattered when we passed the chequered flag and brought the car home for a podium finish!
Nothing can describe the feeling of standing on the podium at Spa Francorchamps in front of crowds of supporters and proudly holding our trophy aloft. It is a day that will live in our memories forever.
So, as I said, what a weekend!
Our Spa race weekend perfectly encapsulated what motorsport is all about - the preparation, the anticipation, the hard work, gut wrenching lows and ecstatic highs. Once again, the car had been prepared to the highest standard by our Head Race Mechanic, Steven Brown, who did a brilliant job of setting up the car for one of the world’s most demanding circuits. As one of our ALP Racing fans commented,
“People don’t realise how much behind the scenes effort and resource it takes to get a car on the grid. It’s really great to see that effort rewarded with a podium”
We shouldn’t forget the logistical organisation brought to the team by Robert James either, who made sure we had a train to get on, a place to sleep and a bar to drink in.
ALP Racing could not achieve the ongoing success we are having without the effort and dedication of all involved.
Also a big thank you to all our sponsors who help to make this all possible:-
· Capital Consulting International
· Failure Analysis & Prevention
· Buchanan Clarke Schlader
· Jed Wulfe Design
We have one more race weekend to go before our season finishes at Brands Hatch on 17 and 18 November. More details to follow soon.
As always, everyone is welcome to turn up and support us.