Well, what a weekend of highs and lows, mixed emotions, disappointment at times, but ultimately elation and success!
We had great pace on Saturday — the car was flying — and we finished Free Practice 2 in P4, with a blistering lap time of 1:10.455, just three-tenths of a second behind Josh Cook who achieved P1. And I felt that there was more left in both myself and the car, so I went into the qualifying session in buoyant mood, full of confidence.
But what a nightmare Qualifying turned out to be, for all the teams. It was the weather — rain, hailstones and sunshine! So tyre-wise, wets on for most of the session, but with a dry setup due to the expectation of slicks at the end of the session. The track did indeed dry out quickly and everyone switched to slicks. We were slightly late in doing so and when we did change a red flag came out so we had little temperature in the rear tyres come the green lights.
However it was so close to the end of the session that I managed just two flying laps on the slicks; on the first I caught a bit of still-damp track on my still-cold tyres and had a big slide, but the second flying lap I was motoring again! But disaster! Just as I approached the line the red flags came out again! My lap time didn’t count and you can imagine how frustrated I was as it would have put me in P2! So very disappointed to being placed on the Race 1 grid at position 23. That’s racing for you!
In Race 1, we used the soft tyre which just never really came in (track temperatures were low), and we lacked grip all race, but managed to finish p16.
In Race 2, I had a very good race and finished 9th, so was looking for some good fortune with the Race 3 reverse grid rule.
No such luck! The Number 8 ball came out of the pot meaning that drivers finishing ahead of that position would have the advantage of the reverse grid. So I started Race 3 in P9 on the grid, as per my finishing position in Race 2. If we didn't have bad luck we'd have no luck!
We had a little ballast going into the final race but the car still felt strong. So let’s get on with the job. I kept up good pace but was aware that I could have the Independent Trophy in the bag, so I needed to finish! Therefore keeping out of trouble I finished 7th place and got the independent win — it was a great way to end the weekend. Perhaps it wasn't the outright podium we were after but it was great to take home some silverware to reward all the guys and girls in Laser Tools Racing for all their hard work. Big thanks to all of the support from everyone, and also a massive thanks to my sponsors and last (but not least), the marshals.