Qualifying today was wet, but drying out. The session started at 11.20am and the best times to be done were straight out of the box. Unfortunately I had planned to come into the pits after a couple of laps so didn’t go all out in that time. Once I came into the pits we waited for 5 minutes for another run. This meant that the track was getting slower by the second and I could only manage 11th for race 1′s grid and 9th for race 2. Unfortunate, but then sometimes strategies don’t always work out as best planned.
The race started slightly late due to the weather we were having and got under way around 4pm. I made a good start but got pushed onto the grass on the inside of the track losing me traction and putting me dead last by the first corner. At the first and second corners however there were cars going sideways left, right and centre due to the tricky conditions and with a series of bold and, to an extent, lucky manoeuvres I’d gone from 16th to 8th in a couple of corners. There was a big accident, though, which brought out the safety car and then the red flags a lap later to rebuild the tyre wall.
This meant the grid was put back to the original starting order, and I was therefore back into 11th. This time, though, I got a brilliant start and made up places straight away. I managed to get into 5th by the 3rd corner, and then hunted down the car in front. A few laps later I overtook for 4th and chased down 3rd quickly. Within a lap I was with the 3rd placed car and thought I would pounce straight away up the inside at the hairpin. Unfortunately my rather brave and admittedly late move didn’t pay off as I clipped the car I was overtaking. I had managed to get 3rd place though and it wasn’t until the first left handed corner that I realised that I had bent the steering, as I went straight on rather than left. I nursed the car home slowly though as I needed the points and ended up 10th position, not bad considering the car’s steering was very damaged, and there were cars still behind me at the finish line.
Unfortunately the move that broke my steering got me into a little bit of trouble with the clerk of the course. As a result I got a £100 fine and 3 points on my licence which means a 3 place grid penalty for Sunday’s race. So I was starting in 9th, but then Adam Bonham’s car got very badly damaged so he’s out of Sunday’s race, which put me 8th. However, due to my grid penalty I am now down to 11th again, the same as today’s race – and hoping I might be able to break into the top 5 like I did today.