I felt refreshed when I woke up. None of the crooked neck or lumpy back problems if I had slept in a bag. I went for a wander at 7:00am while everyone else was asleep and surveyed the track, and went for a quiet slow run in the Caterham to get ready for day two at the track. I still wondered what the next challenge would be. Then I got a message over the radio from McCormack. He didn't sound all too pleased;
"Oh well done Alex, you've just woken me up. Now what am I gonna do?"
"Is everyone else up?" I had a plan.
"Go and get in your Audi and join me for a bit of morning practice. It'll wake you up."
"OK, very well, but everyone else wakes up because of this, then we're both screwed."
I waited for McCormack by the starting line and signalled him up to the line. Early morning race, one lap, last one over the line makes the beds. He agreed to this and we set off. I got a thunderous start and arrived at least half a second ahead. However, the Hangar straight would be the levelling point. If I was still ahead after that, I knew I could win.
Meanwhile, word had got out that a race was happening, and the entire grou had made their way to the pit straight to see the result. You could hear both engines in the horizon. Then the first car screamed into view. The Caterham, flicking and four-wheel drifting, only mere feet in front of the Audi, the cars shot ove the line so close that a time difference of 0.25s was all that seperate me and McCormack. Still, he would have to do the sheets tonight. Revenge of sorts for his smugness last night.
We returned to the tent to find a new envelope lying on the floor. Hmmm, interesting. I wonder...
"In this second challenge, you will have a quarter mile drag race! This will see who is fastest in a straight line. Your cars have been paired, so to balance performance. This will also affect your grid position come Saturday. These are the pairs;
Alex Laird VS. Fraser Young,
Rob McCormack VS. Duncan Bunting,
Roy Shankland VS. Julie McCreath,
Jordan Paton VS. Neil McGee."
I was not feeling confident. Fraser's car, on paper, could destroy my car.
A few minutes later, we were lined up on the start line. I had accidently christened this race "The Battle Of The Helmets", so it seemed more important. 3, 2, 1...
I got another lightening start, but Fraser wasn't exactly hanging around either. The Caterham may have had the better start, but now the power was to begin waging war. I crossed the line, still not sure who had won, such was the tightness of the finish. The time for me as 11.6s. The time for Fraser... was 11.5s. He had pipped me at the post.
Next, McCormack VS. Bunting. The Audi had a slight advantage in the start thanks to it's 4WD system, but the Ferrari's 50hp advantage broke through in the end. McCormack's time: 12s flat. Bunting's time: 11.8s. Still close.
Now for Shankland VS. McCreath. I thought Roy would go soft on Julie, being his girlfriend and all, but no. He annihilated her. Shankland's time: 12.1s. McCreath's time: 12.4s. More space creeping in between times.
And finally, McGee Vs. Paton. Both were level all the way through, and the times were unbelievable. McGee's time: 12.2s. Paton's time: 12.2s. Exactly the same. What a race.
So the races were over and it was time to chalk up the results. Very interesting scores indeed...
1st: Fraser Young, 15 points
Joint 2nd: Alex Laird, 13 points
Joint 2nd: Rob McCormack, 13 points
4th: Duncan Bunting, 10 points
5th: Julie McCreath, 6 points
Joint 6th: Roy Shankland, 5 points
Joint 6th: Neil McGee, 5 points
Joint 6th: Jordan Paton, 5 points
So, a two-way duel for second, and all-out war for sixth. After McCormack had sorted out our beds, the night's sleep would throw up many ideas of what the next day might bring.