BTCC Round 7 | Rockingham | 11th & 12th August
After a torrid last event at Snetterton Circuit where we hit rotten luck and scored zero points, it was crucial that we turned things around at Rockingham Motor Speedway for Round 7 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The Northamptonshire track has been good to me in the past, as I scooped a double race win there in the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB with Celtic Speed. The alternative circuit uses a banked oval with an infield section setting the scene for some epic BTCC racing.
After qualifying 20th place for Sunday’s races I certainly had my work cut out, but luckily for me and my AMD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing squad, the weather was on our side – rain showers were anticipated throughout the event. We really do have our MG 6 dialled in for those tricky conditions!
These unpredictable conditions allowed me to make headway as I carved my way through the field to a 9th place finish in race 1. Then, in race 2 I fought my way to an 8th after getting bashed down the order in the early laps. The result included us in the reverse grid draw for the final race, number 11 was chosen meaning I would start from third place – get in!!
Now at the sharp end, I challenged Chris Smiley for the lead in the early laps. Frustratingly my offence was scuppered by a safety car getting deployed. Following the restart I battled hard with the championship leader Colin Turkington for the final podium spot, eventually slipping down to 6th place just behind Sam Tordoff and Tom Ingram. The goal was to score my first BTCC podium – it wasn’t to be, but I put up one hell of a fight!
It was a cracking day of racing and the team worked extremely hard to get the result - adapting my car to suit the changeable conditions. That’s our biggest points haul of 2018 and we aim to keep this momentum going into my home race next weekend. The excitement is building already. I can’t believe it’s come around so fast, hopefully I’ll see you all there.
- Pictures by Dickon Siddall