I was really looking for a good result this weekend because the last few races have not gone to plan due to various issues with the car. I was in a different car for this weekend, which I was rather happy about after the nightmare I have had in the other car. It was raining most of the day Saturday, and it looked like qualifying was going to be a wet session. But 45 minutes before we were due on the track the sun came out and the track started to dry quickly. So for the start of qualifying we went with slicks on the front, and wets on the rear, although after one lap I came in to change the rears to slicks. I knew this was a gamble but I felt it would pay off at the end of the session. The track was still rather wet when I went back out, but I knew I had to push and try and maximise any grip in the car. I ended up P7. Ideally, I needed one additional lap and I think we would have been in the top 3, as I was progressively faster with every lap as the track improved.
Race 1: After a tricky qualifying session the first race was dry and warm, and I was really looking forward to getting stuck in and having a good race. I made a great start and got up to 5th buy the end of lap 1. But as I went to overtake 4th place, I made a small mistake and locked my rear brakes up and hit him in the side. This knocked the tracking out on the car and I thought that was going to be the end of that race but I managed to bring the car home in 7th. I knew I should have been a lot higher up but for my mistake.
Race 2: Starting from P7 again, I knew where I needed to be at the start. After another great get away I was soon up to fifth and chasing the leaders down. Buy lap 2 I was up to 3rd and driving the best race I have had all year, and coming around Coram on lap 4, I saw the leaders make contact and spin. I thought it was Christmas! This enabled me to take second place and I was soon catching the leader. Unfortunately, my tires started to overheat and lose grip. I was no longer able to push as hard as I would have liked, and it was just getting worse and worse every lap. By the flag I had dropped to 3rd place but was still on the podium for the first time this year. It felt amazing seeing all the team celebrating on the pit wall when I went over the line. It felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders after the year we have had up to this point! What a day to do it on too, Father’s Day. It was a pretty good present for the person who has given up everything for me to race throughout my karting career, my Mum too. At least we know now if I have the car reliable, we can be right up the mixing it at the front, and with a little bit more testing and set up work on the car, we will be fighting for those wins in no time. I would just like to say and massive ‘thank you’ to everyone at Team Hard for making it possible for me to race this year. Also, all the mechanics that were there at the weekend, you did a top job. Finally, to my Mum, Dad and my family that travel down to support me whenever or wherever I’m racing.
Next stop Spa!