Rockingham was next up on the calendar, and I went there with only one objective; to bring home some silverware and bring home as many points for the championship as I could. The test day went well to be fair, we tried a few different settings and by the end of the day I was confident we had a good package going into qualifying. It was very tricky to put in a good lap time due to a lot of traffic on circuit, but I knew the set up was decent going into Saturday qualifying.
For qualifying we had new brake pads and new tyres, so I gave it a couple of laps before I put the hammer down. I didn’t feel that I was any quicker than I was in practice the day before, then crossing the start/finish straight I saw P9 on my pit board, so I was like right lets crack on! I eventually finished P11, 3rd in class, with a personal best 1m26.7, 3.2 seconds quicker than not only the year before, but also the day before in practice! So I was buzzing about that, it was a big step forward.
I didn’t get the best of starts and I got swamped into the first corner, so I had a lot of work to do. I made up around 5 places and got caught in a race long battle with championship rival Alex Laureys, who after pushing hard all race long I just lost out to finishing 4th in class. I was frustrated and I said that night that I was going for two podiums the following day no matter what!
The following day I went out for a damp warm up session which I finished 3rd, just to test some alterations we had made the night before. I was all set for the two upcoming races!
Again I didn’t get the best of starts, dropping to around 15th initially. On the third corner two riders had big high sides right in front of me, I somehow managed to avoid them through sheer luck and nothing else! I had lost around 5 seconds to the group ahead but I still managed to finish 2nd in class, bagging my first podium of the season, I was over the moon about it because it had been a long time coming and a lot of hard work had gone into it in the process, so it was more a reward to my parents and Craig Brookes at CMB Motorsport for all their effort and for putting up with me!
For the win it or bin it last race, it was a case of going for a podium again. I got a much better start this time and went into the first corner within the top 10 and I felt I could run with them. Lap times were not as quick as the previous races due to a heavy downpour an hour before, meaning the track was damp in places so no one was pushing to the limit. I had a few slides and near misses due to the lack of grip so I lost ground on the top 10 and I was sitting comfortably 3rd in class and 11th overall, so I knew all I had to do was to keep the pace up that I was running and bring it home, which I did! It wasn’t easy though, I had a good battle on my hands for the few remaining laps, changing places multiple times and just losing out on 11th in the last corner after trying a daring move and running deep, allowing the rider to come back past me. Nevertheless 3rd in class and a podium was satisfying, my pace was good and I was competitive.
We came away from the weekend with 49 points from a possible 75 and we now sit 4th in the championship, just 3 points off 3rd place, so it’s all to play for at Anglesey on the August bank holiday weekend!
Massive thanks to all the sponsors who make it happen: CMB Motorsport, HIA Architects & Designers, Elvington Park Building Services, Pipe Werx, Reactive Suspension, York Digital Image, Catton Village Motors, Smarter, Blue Haze Engineering and MPS Racing. For anyone interested in sponsoring me and being a part of the team please contact: email@example.com