A new week, a new track.
Well, not so much a new track. I'm very familiar with Suzuka having won three starts there last season. But this time it will be much harder. Those wins were in second splits, and this week, unless I happen upon incredible SOF races, I will be in the top splits.
That means it's even more important than before to be on top of the track. At Oulton Park I was right up there on pace and that got me a second place finish in a 2600 SOF race. At VIR I was struggling for confidence, and ended with a sixth place from a lower SOF - beaten for fifth by a driver who had finished a few places down from me at Oulton.
I like Suzuka. It's challenging without being stupid. You don't have Hog Pen from VIR, or the Corkscrew from Laguna Seca. It does have Spoon, which is a tricky little corner requiring a lot of finesse and patience, but it's a controlled experience.
A 2.26.4 personal best with a 2.25.7 optimal clearly indicates a lack of consistency. With these long tracks I expect to be no more than five tenths off optimal. I did manage a 2.26.2, but caught a tiny off track at Degner 2 on exit.