Milltek Tom Onslow-Cole Race Report. Round 2: Donington Park
TOC: Donington is definitely one of my favourite tracks and my real hope as we went into qualifying was that we could build on the solid start at Brands and try and rack up a few more points. Early pace in the session seemed really good. It was raining quite a bit, which can make the RWD BMW a bit lively, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with.
Race one felt very hooked up all the way through. I got a good start and got up from 12th to 5th, and it was good to see that the BMW has the pace of the rest of the pack. 5th meant we had tallied some useful points and I was hopeful for race two.
To begin with, the car felt really positive in race two. WSR really have done a great job of prepping it and it’s really coming to me now as a package. With qually being so wet, we hadn’t had time to heat cycle all of our race tyres properly, so we were all a little apprehensive as to whether the set we had fitted, which were literally a ‘sticker set’ prior to the lights going out, would be able to handle the race temps after not being graded properly. Unfortunately, they didn’t. Certain parts of the track that I was able to take flat in race one were needing a slight lifts in race two – and it cost me all around the circuit, making for a 10th as the flag dropped. Mind you, before they ‘went off’ they were good enough for a fastest lap, so it balances out!
I felt really good about Race three. The start hooked up perfectly and I thought that I could fight my way through lap by lap. Mid way through, I saw that Rob had gone wide, so I backed off to give him room, which caught Matt out and had me punted off and ‘rallying’ on the grass. I gathered that all up neatly enough, and got straight back to work, but I had lost quite a few places and suffered significant aero damage, meaning a 9th was the best I could manage, having to fight the car a little more than usual.
Summing up, it was a great round. It puts me at 47 points in the Driver’s Championship, which is level with Dave Newsham, 9th overall and 5th in the Indy standings. As a team we’re also third in both leagues, so we’re all hugely positive. If we can turn a few of those fastest laps into track positions, Thruxton should be even more fun! We’re really going to work on the set-up for that round. It’s such a fast, sweeping circuit I think we can do well there.
Catch Tom at Thruxton in his eBay Motors BMW on the 29th April and don’t forget to check out his site.