Hockenheim’s Driver of the Weekend
Litespeed’s driver Jay Bridger received the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award in recognition of his stirling efforts and the sheer pace of Litespeed’s Dallara chassis. Following the complete rebuild of the car before Magny Cours the team have spent the two weeks of this European tour of Magny Cours and Hockenheim refining and developing the setup.
Thursday’s testing and Free Practice 1 went well seeing Jay set the 10th fastest time as well as tuning the cars pace on worn tyres.
Qualifying was interesting as during testing and practice almost all the drivers were using all the available track, and more, at turn 1 to achieve a fast lap time and so the race officials enforced the track limits ruling which led to a large number of drivers losing times and unfortunately Jay was one of them crucially losing all of his fastest times on his second set of tyres and so ended up 17th for the first race and 18th for the 3rd race.
The cars pace on worn tyres was good and so although starting from 17th place in race 1 it was definitely worth pushing hard and from the start Jay immediately made up 2 places and continued to press on up the field to 12th place. The officials were enforcing the track limits ruling , 3 offences would lead to a drive through penalty, and so Jay produced a restrained, but more importantly a legal, and clean drive which secured 6th place, 5th fastest time and more importantly the reverse grid rule gave Litespeed its first 3rd position on the grid for Race 2!
Race 2 saw Jay slip to 4th on lap two but his race pace was good and he found it easy to maintain his position despite having a good battle with championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne and coming out on top! It was a shame to miss out on a podium but Jay was only 3.5 seconds off the race winner and 4th is an excellent result for the team.
Having lost his best time in qualifying Jay started Race 3 from 17th place, but made up 5 places quickly eventually getting stuck behind Alex Brundle who was slower but hard to pass and resulted in Jay sliding off the circuit and over one of the monster kerbs that launched the car into the air and knocked the corner weights and tracking out when he landed! This upset the setup of the car and Jay couldn’t progress any higher than 12th place.
At the end of the race Jay was awarded the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend trophy, a great achievement for both him and Litespeed and recognition from the championship of the effort put in by Jay and the Litespeed team.