Beast Racing made its debut in the Euro V8 Supercars Championship on Saturday night, with Chaz Draycott behind the wheel of the #022 Holden VF Commodore, as the series hosted it’s “Media Night” at Donington Park ahead of it’s sixth season.
Consisting of three races – one Super Sprint lasting 10 Laps, a Sprint lasting 18 Laps, and a Feature race lasting 36 laps, there would have to be a lot of variation in his approach toward each race. Despite being on the pace with the midfield drivers, after only competing in one race meeting before, a couple of small incidents and mistakes meant that the results didn’t entirely reflect Chaz’s efforts on the night.
After Qualifying in 17th for Race 1, he quickly gained places and managed to make it up to 9th position, where he stayed for most of the race, but after coming under attack from Phantom 71 driver Dave Janssen with two laps to go, he lost momentum and got freight-trained down to 14th, and finished there.
The Reverse Grid only applied to the top 8 drivers for Race 2, so 14th would be Chaz’s starting position, but he got caught out on the outside at Turn 1, and ended up on the grass, dropping down to 23rd. He gained a couple of places over the following laps and ended up in 19th, but another mistake over the kerbs put the car in the wall at the final chicane. Fortunately the car wasn’t badly damaged and the #022 machine salvaged a 17th place finish.
For the third, longest and final race of the day, Chaz would start from 5th thanks to the Reverse Grid. He would stay just outside the Top 5 for the first quarter of the race, getting involved in battles with the drivers around him, but contact with race favourite Diego Catalan dropped him down a couple of spots. Follow that up with some big contact in the final chicane – after another driver missed their braking point – and the car had to be brought in for repairs. With the hope of using this as his stop for fuel, Chaz pushed on for the remaining 26 Laps with good pace, but could only manage a 15th place finish.
“Despite things not going my way tonight with contact, spins and incidents, it was a real eye-opener to how I should be driving this car. I’ve only driven it in the ‘Race of Champions’ these guys did in December, and that wasn’t anything to take seriously, so this has been a great chance to get to grips with our Holden. I felt like I had good pace towards the end of the meeting so hopefully I can translate that into some decent results once the season gets under way.” -Chaz
You can catch Round 1 of the Championship from Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve on the 12th of January, where it will be broadcast on Apex Racing TV at 18:00 GMT.