Round 3 of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton Circuit was always going to be a challenge but we didn’t anticipate how tough it would actually be!
The weather was on point at the fastest circuit in the UK with twenty degree temperatures all weekend. The conditions were just right. It was my first visit to Thruxton in 5 years and practice was certainly interesting as I got to grips with its unique surface and high speed nature. We hit bad luck in Free Practice 2, I had a front left tyre blow out as I entered the 5th gear Goodwood corner. This sent me into the tyre wall at high speed and caused considerable damage to my MG6 race car.
I must say a huge thanks to the AMD Tuning crew as they repaired the car with just seconds to go before qualifying. We didn’t have time to check the set up but we got out there and posted a time good enough for P26 – ahead of my team mates. We made the most of a bad situation!
It was now race day and a positive mind set was needed.
I raced conservatively in race 1 bringing the car home in P24, managing to stay out of any trouble. In Race 2 I encountered an electrical fault while in P20, the engine suddenly shut down then kick started again, which dropped me down the order to P26. Now, with clear air ahead of me I got my head down and started to push. With encouragement from my engineer Danny, I reeled in the guys in front of me, setting my personal best lap times. It was great experience for me as I had nothing to lose, committing to a number of aggressive overtakes which propelled me up to 19th overall putting me in striking distance of a points finish in the final race.
Sitting on the grid for race 3, it was my absolute goal to bring home some points for the team. The initial laps in race 3 didn’t go quite to plan as I lost a couple of places, but quickly made them back. I snuck by Jake Hill at the first complex before Dan Cammish nipped by me a lap later. I needed to stay with him as he had been one of the pace setters all weekend. With 5 laps to go I gritted my teeth and hung on to the back of Cammish and we started to reel in the group of battling cars ahead. The car was working really well and I was pushing 100%. Taking on Thruxton in this manner is an incredible feeling. Sliding through the 6th gear Church corner at 120mph doesn’t ever feel normal, but it’s a real buzz!
We arrived on the back of the train of 5 cars ahead and as we entered the final lap I propelled past Aiden Moffat and Rob Austin to take 14th overall and a couple of points too. This points score was a small victory for us after Saturday’s crash and the electrical fault in race 2. Although it wasn’t the overall result we had aimed for, encouragingly we didn’t leave Thruxton empty handed and showed great determination in races 2 and 3.
Next up it’s Oulton Park on June 10th!