Conor Daly – Victory at last!

Written by Team USA. Posted in Conor Daly, Driver Blogs

Published on November 02, 2008 with No Comments

Silverstone, England (November 2, 2008) – Luckily this morning Josef and I were able to sleep in because the semi finals didn’t start until later in the day. So we arrived at the track around 11:30am and went straight to watch Peter Dempsey, Cliff’s son, hop into a last-minute entry into the progression race to try and make it to the final. It was very entertaining watching Peter dominate the field coming from about 21st to first in six or seven laps! Immediately after that was Peter racing again in the last chance race. He again came from the back of the grid of 36 cars to score the victory which was a lot of fun to watch.

After seeing Peter dominate in the very wet conditions I knew Josef and I could do the same. Around noon time we finally saw the grids for the semi finals. Josef and I were in semi final two along with Doug Prendeville, our American teammate. Peter Dempsey was in semi final one and came from the back of the grid AGAIN and finished fifth which meant he made the final! Everyone on the team was thrilled! Now it was our turn. Josef started on pole and I started third because my heat was one of the slowest heats even though I won. I had an excellent start but as I was passing for second the guy on the inside shoved me right into the grass causing me to lose traction and not be able to pass him. So I put my head down and started to catch him again. As soon as I got near him he had a mechanical failure putting me into second place. I then focused on trying to catch Josef. We were running identical times all the way to the end of the race so I was not able to catch him.

Going into the final I was pretty confident but still disappointed with a second row starting position. I had had brilliant starts every time at Silverstone EXCEPT for the final… I just slipped the clutch a little too much and got some wheel-spin. I didn’t lose any positions but I didn’t gain any either. So I started to catch the top four In front of me when unfortunately my teammate Josef went off into Brooklands, the second to last corner. I had found myself in third putting pressure on second. I was able to get a good run out of the first turn and pass for second position into the second corner around the outside. I then was extremely focused to try and catch the leader. I was slowly gaining on him when he made a small mistake going a little too hard into the last corner and going off track. I then found myself in the lead pulling away from the field.

All seemed good with a few laps to go when the safety car came out. This worried me because it bunched the field back up and I had never done a wet restart before. After a few laps behind the pace car we went green. I tried getting as little wheelspin as possible and got a good restart pulling away from the field behind me. I held on for the remaining laps and took the win! It was a great victory and it was even more special for me because of the difficult conditions. I enjoyed every bit of it and learned a ton about wet weather racing. I want to thank everyone at Cliff Dempsey Racing for all the support and good hard work they have put in over the last three weeks to give Josef and I the opportunity to dominate over here in England.

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