David’s final 2018 appearance behind the wheel happened at the closing round of the International GT Championship in Barcelona – an event that yielded mixed results.
In Race 1, David and Rinat Salikov started their Rinaldi Racing Ferrari from 12th on the grid, and finished 2nd on the Pro-Am podium. It was a close run thing for 3rd position overall and 1st in class, but a safety car halted in the last 5 laps brought a halt to the their momentum through the field.
Race 2 was started from 20th, but after a superb start, Salikov was handed a drive-through penalty for bumping another car. David cast his eye over the infringement and says:
Having watched the onboard, I don’t blame Rinat – both he and the car ahead were on a section of track where you are at full throttle. I am not sure what he could have done to avoid the contact, it certainly wasn’t intentional and he wasn’t entirely to blame either. Compound that with the fact that the GT Open is a very aggressive series, with a lot of contact, and I found the penalty extreme and inconsistent
After serving the drive through, Salikov pitted a few laps later and handed driving duties to David. Rejoining the field in 29th position, he fought his was up to P13, just missing out on a top 10. It’s a feat worth savouring, as overtaking at Barcelona is not easy, and often requires that the driver ahead make a mistake. As any attacking driver approaches the top 10, it becames much more difficult to make progress – as David found out. You can watch some of his overtakes here.
With the season done, it’s time for David to turn his attention to 2019. He aims to stay at Rinaldi Racing, where he was given a chance to prove himself against the best in GT racers in the world, While there are options on the table, nothing is set in stone.
With the first tests of 2019 likely only taking place around February, he’ll be doing a lot of simulator work. David has noted that the attention he has given sim racing in the past has translated to better results on track
As a sign off to 2018, David says:
To every one of you who has supported me this year I need to say a big, big Thank You – taking the time to follow my progress means a great deal to me! I hope to bring you further news and top results in 2019.