Croft | BTCC | 15 - 16 June 2019
Motorsport is a very testing sport and as a team we were pushed to our limits at Croft Circuit.
After some very promising pace in practice, my hopes of starting at the sharp end were squashed when I hit the barrier hard in qualifying. The session was plagued by 3 red flags early on which meant we sat in pit lane while our tyres cooled. 15 minutes into the session I still hadn’t set a qualifying time and when I eventually went for my first flying lap, my right rear tyre just wasn’t hot enough. I approached the first left-hand bend of the circuit in 5th gear and as I turned the steering left the rear immediately broke away and pitched me into a massive spin. I tried to correct it but with the rear tyre not up-to temperature, it wasn’t coming back. I hit the wall at over 100mph and body panels flew off the car – it wasn’t pretty!
I walked away unscathed, but it was going to be a big ask to have the car repaired for Sunday’s race. By the time I’d arrived back from the Medical Centre my team were already hard at work – dismantling the broken parts and knocking out the dented panels of my beaten up Honda Civic. They put in an almighty shift – working into the early hours – and when I returned on Sunday morning I was delighted to see the car was back on the ground! With only a few final checks and tweaks to be carried out ahead of Race 1, we were ready to go. What a turnaround!
When I left the pit lane for Race 1 I knew straight away that the car was back to it’s best, but it was going to take a couple of laps to get my head back into things after the crash.
Starting from 29th position in Race 1, I passed a total of 22 cars across the whole day, eventually finishing 7th in a wet Race 3. It was a good comeback considering where we were on Saturday evening and it was nice to fight my way back into the top ten. I enjoyed some great racing. Battling with championship leader Colin Turkington in Race 3 for 6th overall was a great experience for me. I quickly learned that he has a feisty side, hence why he’s triple champion, so I now know what to expect next time we race together.
It was most certainly our toughest weekend yet and it’s important that we reflect on what happened, learn from it and then move on.
Images – Thanks to Facebook.com/telltaletrack.