The American Festival in Zolder was the last round of the Belcar Endurance Championship 2018.
After the turbo problems in Spa during the previous race, the car was fully prepared and also extensively tested on the circuit of Croix-en-Ternois. The car passed two full test days without any problems.
Jamie did free practice on Friday, during which a number of minor adjustments were made. The car had also made significant progress in that regard. On Saturday Jamie managed to place us on P19 with a fastest lap of 1’41″2, by far the fastest we had ever driven with our diesel Radical. My part of the qualification was severely interrupted by two red flags, which prevented me from doing a fast lap.
The start of the race on Sunday was taken by me. As there were no incidents on the track during the opening hour, I could do the first stint of the two-hour race. In addition, the car behaved properly, although I had a poorly functioning right front brake caliper, making it tricky under hard braking. I was able to move towards P15 with some intensive battles with GT4 cars. During that first stint I was able to lower the benchmark of the Radical to 1’40″045, a huge step forward!
After an hour, Jamie took over. However, he had to continue immediately as our refueling system failed, the pump was stuck. After just 15 minutes, the team got the pump working, and we immediately came in for our second stop.
He managed to keep the car out until suddenly he came back without any gears. Moments later, it appeared that a bolt had come loose, causing the rod to come loose from the shift mechanism. The problem was solved fairly quickly, so that we could finish the race without further problems!
I would like to thank the Oracle TSL team for their confidence in me this season, together we have taken a huge step in the right direction.