Ben Foessel

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A Blog Post

FOESSEL EXTENDS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AT SANDOWN 500

Motor School Racing – Porsche 997 Cup
Australian GT: Round 5

We are now getting to the business end of the championship and Sandown was a crucial round for us, with our number one goal to extend our championship lead.

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Looking to keep our tyre reserves up, we used old rubber in P1 and consequently, this was reflected in our times. For P2, we decided it was time to unleash the fury, so we put a full set of new tyres on and the times dropped into the 13’s consistently, which was about 1.6 seconds faster than last time I raced at Sandown earlier this year, and a very positive start to our weekend.

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Melbourne turned on its best weather and Saturday was warm and sunny to kick things off. My data analyst Simon Wills worked through the practice data with me and we made a few tweaks to the car to give it a good blast. At the start of the race I was struggling with traffic, as some of the faster cars pushed away down the straight and we were catching up on the corners. The Porsche doesn’t have the straight-line speed of some of our rivals, but retains amazing speed through the corners. In the end, I was able to clear the traffic and return to the back of my main rival Brendan Cook. After a few laps I saw an opportunity to dive under brakes at Dandenong corner and stuck the car on the inside, but Brendan closed the gap. We had a small tap, but nothing major, and continued to battle on. I finally got past at turn one and took the lead in class, which I kept extending and was eventually took the win in race 1 with a comfortable margin. For Race 2 I started in front, but my main rival’s co-driver was also pushing out the front and putting me on the hunt. The start of the race was a bit wild as I tried to dodge some spinning cars, which cost some time, but I put my head down and I charged on to claw back the lost time. In the end, I caught my main rival at turn 1 on the closing laps of the race to clinch victory in race 2.

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It was another sunny day on Sunday, but the track just wasn’t holding the same pace. Still, we made a cracking start and managed to gain a 12 second lead by the 3rd lap on my rival, as they fought their own battles. From there on, it was a case of head down and I kept a good charge to increase the lead by a decent margin. We did face a little hurdle as a gremlin struck us and we had no clutch after the pit stop, but I kept soldiering on and still finished 1st.
Overall, it was an absolutely awesome weekend with a clean sweep and now a decent 54 point lead coming into Highlands where only 110 points are on offer – so things are looking positive! I’d like to extend my gratitude for your ongoing support of Motor School Racing!