We arrived in Hockenheim on wednesday after a rather short journey. The weather was beautiful and the forecast of a great weekend of racing elevated our good mood.

Thursday morning the tech inspection was done on the dragster and due to the race event not beginning until Friday the rest of the day was uneventful and quiet. After the first sportsman classes had ran down the track Friday morning, it was quite clear that the track had not grip yet. The track crew worked very hard but the condition of the track could not be improved and because of this the drivers and crew chiefs of all FIA classes met in the pits for a meeting, to discuss and take a vote whether or not qualifying runs should be made on this day. The majority voted on making the first runs on Saturday. We hoped that the hard working track crew would be able to improve the track for the next day. Due to the decision the sportsman classes were able to make 4 qualifying runs that day. On Saturday 3 qualifying runs were scheduled for the FIA classes due to the sessions lost on Friday (usually 2 qualification runs are held Friday). The first qualifying session was at 10am but unfortunately we discovered that the track was not well prepared as in the prior years. The result for us was a 7.44 sec. run with spinning wheels from start line well over the 200 metre marker! After a number of changes made to the setup we made our second pass at 2pm….and again near to no traction, but we did managed to improve ourselves to 6.89 sec., which for us resulted in being 1st in qualifying after the second session. In our video’s section of the website you can take a look at Pat’s wild rides on this weekend. The runs brought back memories of old times back in the days when we did not have any prepared tracks in the early 70s and the spectators cheered wildly. The third run on this day was also not blessed with any traction and we fell back to 3rd qualifier with a 6.85 sec. run and for the raceday, Sunday, we were up against Dave Wilson.

Due to Dave not showing for first round we had a bye-run into the next round. Because Pat wanted to secure himself lane choice for round two he tried to run fast but the track was not any better on Sunday and so Pat ran down the track and over the finish line with smoking tires. After this run we had to change the tires, because they were completely finished.

We didn’t really have to debate much about the set-up of the car on this track because everything really came down to Pat’s driving abilities, but we still tried everything to improve the car. We had lane choice in the semi-finals and selected the right lane (clearly the better lane) against Manty Bugeja and won the round. So we were in the finals up against Dennis Habermann. Because Dennis had the better time on his semi-final run he had lane choice for the finals so we ended up on the left lane and everything came as predicted… Dennis was faster in the right lane and won well-deserved.

After losing traction on the startline, Pat tried to catch up with Dennis but when he realized that Dennis was too far ahead and his tires started spinning once again he aborted the run. So we ended up runner-up of the “Pedalfestival” in Hockenheim and headed home with mixed feelings. We have one week to prepare for the next race, as we head for Tierp in Sweden on Monday (20.08).

All in all under the circumstances we had a nice weekend, due to a lot of fans and friends being in Hockenheim who supported us the whole time with their applause and enthusiasm and we hope very much that Hockenheim continues to host the FIA Home Championship Race. We know Jerry Lackey as race-director will continue to do everything he can.

Best Wishes

Pat and Team