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My first ever races at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire this weekend resulted in three third place finishes and 31.5 points towards the 2019 BRSCC Toyo Tires Porsche Championship title.
Very few of us had signed up to race this weekend and missing from the lineup were my two closest rivals, John Jones and Andrew Pritchard. JJ was already ahead in the points having done the Cadwell Park round a few weeks before, so I had to at least finish every race to stand a chance of catching him in the rounds ahead. Ahead of me would be Hugh Peart, who was leading the championship, and Pete Smith, who started the season late but was already winning races.
To add to the challenge – although I’d been to Croft a couple of times before, I’d never even driven the track so I was going to be qualifying on an almost completely unknown circuit! I soon got the hang of things though and qualified third, albeit 2.5 seconds slower than Hugh.
This was to be a “triple header”, with a single race on the Saturday, followed by two more on the Sunday. The weather had cooled off a bit from the proceeding week but with the strong sunshine, it was still hot in the car. In Race 1, my final lap was the quickest and 2.8 seconds quicker than qualifying – certainly moving in the right direction.
Sunday was a late start – Croft don’t allow racing before 12:00 – and although I’d slowed a little, I pushed harder earlier on to try to keep pace with Hugh and Pete. The final race of the weekend was our traditional reverse grid – although with our small number, it didn’t make much difference. I was able to hold Pete off for the first few corners and stay with them for four laps or so. This time my fastest laps were much closer to the leaders, finishing just 1.2 seconds off Pete’s winning time.
So I headed home with three third places and although it didn’t move me in the championship table, it moved me a lot closer to both JJ and Hugh’s totals. Hugh is to miss the next two rounds – four races in total at Brands and Anglesey – and I should be able to pass both him and JJ and keep close to Pete’s score.
My thanks as usual to Clive Morison at Moluto Motorsport for providing and running the car and my sponsors WeShield and AMPS UK Ltd.