Round 1 Morgan Park Raceway Bayley Hall Racing Review
It was a truly exhilarating event on the 17th and 18th of March and was a great performance from myself and the crew getting to understand the car and the car performance on this foreign track. Practice session was great way to get my head around the demanding track and understand the little features to already improve my lap time. It was very exciting to be travelling around in the new car with the lovely new wrap thanks to Wraptors in Coomera and thanks to all the sponsors for making it possible for me to be out there. As soon as I understood the rhythm of the track and the performance of the car it was time to push. On just Friday I pushed my lap time from a 1:54:34 down to a 1:40.23 while the leading drivers were seen doing 1:36:15. This was an enormous step for me, taking later brake markers and hitting corners faster while keeping a clean shell was an awesome day for my progress. I quickly understood the car and could push it well for my first time in the car and first time around this track. I was quite glad after day one to be a fraction of the pace compared to veterans of the sport.
Saturday was a joyful day including my qualifying session and the first race of the new 2018 season. I jumped straight in the car keen for a successful qualifying session. With no practice laps I was straight into setting a PB. Overall, my new PB was a 1:39:26 which was a great time that put me into position 21 out of 26 cars for the first race of this season and my X3 Series Queensland career. These race start procedures were stationary starts and personally I have never tried or performed this type of start. However, race 1 commenced and I had a successful start as after the first lap I had moved into position 19. It was a clean and amazing first race of my career as I continued moving up the field into position 17 as my finish position meaning I started from 17 in race 2. This was a perfect race scenario for me as I got to understand the race craft around me and how the behave as well as being able to test my race pace and push the car for clean racing but quick lap times. Throughout racing I had performed laps that were better than my qualifying and I kept consistent 1:39:17-89. These lap times were a massive positive for me and the race craft I was showing was a very good thing for me to understand as it was my first race and the track is still quite foreign. Minor changes for the car meant that Sunday racing will be good as I understood the track and the car settings more to be able to alter for more car performance.
It came down to the last day of the race weekend and I had two big races on. The car had been kept straight and clean all weekend and I promised to continue like that for the rest of the day. Don’t want to scratch those beautiful sponsors’ stickers. The second race of the season saw me starting in position 17 and quickly adjusting to the compact group of Hyundai excels into corners one and two. Once again, the car came out of that race quite straight but the result was not what was expected as my pace found me into position 16 but after a personal error I had pushed the car to its maximum and controlled a perfect spin into corner two but recovered it into position 19. Race 3 was upon us and the final race of the weekend was starting with me in 19. I had another successful standing start on my third attempt putting me into 18. After many front runners had been set at the back of the pack they fought through and I kept a nice clean race keeping personal best sectors and lap times finally hitting my quickest time of the weekend being a 1:38:45 and I was absolutely stocked. The most unfortunate event in my entire weekend was that I did not finish in this race due to a mechanical and engine failure on the final lap. However, I was still positive seeing those impressive times and quite relieved that the issues will be addressed and fixed well before the next event returning to Morgan Park Raceway on the 14th and 15th of April for Round Two.
Overall, it was a successful weekend showing my potential and understanding the amazing race craft that surrounds me. I really enjoyed this weekend because I got to understand the track and push myself to bring down my first lap time down by 16 seconds after just a bunch of laps. It was also great to finally get to understand the car performance and get my hands dirty adjusting the car and creating a great performing car. It was quite unfortunate to have positions lost in race 2 and to not finish the third race but it still set a steady and stable foot me to progress from and bring this knowledge into the next round pushing myself up the field. I just want to make a major thanks to all my sponsors for their amazing support and belief in me to perform my best and to progress in this amazing sport. I hope you are keeping on track with my progress by accessing bayleyhallracing.com and looking through my Instagram and Facebook accounts. Thank you Hall Finance and Solutions, Morse Building Consultancy, Morris Finance, Consolidated Insurance Brokers, Antman Custom Helmets, Lightwave Yachts, AV Total Solutions, Profender, Wraptors and CSQ again for the amazing support and together we will be looking forward to an amazing weekend in April back at Morgan Park Raceway to excel again.