Kirkistown Race Report: British Championship Round 4
Qualifying – P4
Qualifying was a manic session as everyone was fighting for track position at the beginning of the session. To end the session in P4 with 3 consecutive laps good enough for this position, this was a great start to the weekend. Qualifying P4 also meant I was the first non local driver on the grid which was a great achievement as it meant I was starting ahead of most of my championship rivals.
Race 1 – P4
A great start saw me move up to P3 by the hairpin on the opening lap and I was running right with the leaders, pressuring the 2nd placed driver into a mistake I managed to get passed on the run to the chicane, holding P2 for a lap as we battled at every corner, unfortunately with us battling so much it allowed the chasing pack to catch up. This meant there was a line of cars all fighting for the same piece of road and the race soon turned into a slipstreaming battle, swapping positions every lap, falling to 4th I then climbed back up to 3rd before falling back to 4th in the closing laps. Overall P4 in my first race at Kirkistown was a great result and this ensured a great starting position for race 2.
Race 2 – P1
Race 2 started perfectly as I climbed to P2 on the opening lap. This race was similar to race 1 as the whole pack was running in a line as the slipstream was stopping anyone from pulling away at the front. Running in 2nd for most of the race meant I was constantly having to attack and defend at every corner. This was very challenging but in the closing laps I managed to pull a small gap to the cars behind and mount a serious attack on the race leader, this pressured him into a mistake at the chicane a few laps from the finish allowing me to dive passed and claim my first win of the year in the British Championship!
Race 3 – P9
The reverse grid for race 3 meant I started from P7, managing to get another good start I held my position before chaos ensued ahead. I had to run wide into turn 1 to avoid a spining car which dropped me off the back of the leading pack. However I had the speed to quickly close that gap before the safety car came out to help clear the track. On the restart I made a move for P6, due to this I ran deep into the hairpin and clipped the back of a car, this damaged the nose and meant I was very slow on the straights. To make matters worse I picked up suspension damage (broken roll bar) on the opening lap which was hurting me badly in the corners, these 2 problems meant I had to settle for P9 as it was impossible for me to make progress to the front of the pack.
Overall round 4 was a very enjoyable weekend, The pace I had both in testing and in the races showed the progress I have made this year and to pick up my first win in the series was the icing on the cake. A huge thank you to all my sponsors, supporters and of course my team for all their hard work and support so far this year! Hopefully the next win isn’t to far away.