Rockingham Round 6

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.

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.

Race 1

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!

Race 2

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!

Race 3

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: samholme10@gmail.com

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