That was one hell of a rollercoaster of an event. Practice was far more limited then I had hoped due to PC issues, and was using a super lightly modified version of the setup shared out on discord. So I didn't really expect much going into Qualifying, first lap was exceptionally whelming before hitting the wall on the 2nd flyer really ended my challenge. Decided to drop to the back (not that it really made much difference) for the very strategic reason of being able to ease up if nessecary, which ended up coming with the added benefit of a clear drive into my pitbox in the race which was pretty awesome.
Deliberately had no strategy plan going into the race, but elected to go for new right-side tyres fairly often early on under caution. Managed to work my way up from 18th to 7th by the first caution and was quite surprised to only be joined by Matt who elected to pit for tyres. Both of us managed to use our fresher tyres well to re-gain positions.
Picked up quite a fair chunk of damage (Front left, Front and the whole of the right side) after a tangle with Arwyn, so elected to pit once again on lap 49, again, being very surprised to be joined by only Matt and Chris, as it seemed to me everyone else was really valuing track position over fresh tyres. Ended up running up through the field with Matt before taking the front running positions, along with Shill who was really racing his bladder instead of either of us. Eventually tyres started dropping away and some tanks were beginning to run dry, which was the perfect situation for me, having pitted for new rights and a fuel top-up. Then Craig had his unfortunate disconnect and out came Caution #4 which began quite some confusion. I was trying to catch the safetycar, but the pits opened behind me, so several cars went in on that lap for their stop, with a load more in on the next lap. Then Fraser has his slide across pit exit, a further caution was called, but since there were several cars between the safetycar and the leader, plus another lucky dog, it brought several people properly back into the race for the win.
At this point I figured that there wasn't much chance of the win, with Matt running better then me, and with Mark and Jims swarming all over me, tried my best to hold in P2 as Matt built a gap in the lead which unfortunately came to naught at the lap 200 caution where pretty much everyone seemed to go in for new tyres, so from then on it looked to be a race to the end, I took the head of the pack for most of the next green flag stint until a caution with 10 to go. Tyres were ok so elected to stay out and fight it out, then watched several cars behind me dive down the pitlane, including Jims, Mark and Kyran who was back in the fight at this point. Green flag comes with like 6 laps to go and I'm leading with Chris behind and then April, who came back from a lap down twice. Managed to get a good launch but the caution came out swiftly afterward insuring a GWC. It was at this point I began to actually think I could win, took this restart a little faster then the previous ones to avoid spinning up in 1st, got a good launch, and Chris got wide behind me, allowing me to bring it home for the win.
Apologies for the wall of text, whilst this may not have been the most popular win, it means quite a lot to me given Cruddy's past, as well as the drive from last to first, beating Adam Smith's record from Cruddy 2 by winning from the lowest starting position (18th > 13th).