Coming into this weekend it was mathematically possible for me to seal the championship a meeting early, two third-place finishes would guarantee me the title. Despite this, the aim was still to come in and dominate, mainly for my own personal development as a driver and to keep adding to the process we have been working on all year.
We couldn’t test on Friday because of lower than usual noise restrictions making it difficult without short-shifting. This would mean that my first session in the car would be for qualifying. The Spire team and several of the drivers did test, but it rained most of the morning and then dried in the afternoon. To try and make up for it, I spent several hours in the simulator instead on Friday, joining the team later in the afternoon. My session in the sim was very positive and I was getting good performance out of the car in both quali and race simulations, which meant I left feeling confident that I could still put in a solid performance.
Qualifying was a blast, the car felt great and I was comfortable. I managed to do quick times from the off and was coming round to a pit board that said I had nearly 9 tenths in hand, early in the session. At the time I was about 6 seconds behind Richard Morris on track (who I suspected was the 2nd place car) and could see that I was slowly reeling him in. About 5 mins from the end, Richard slowed down to let me past and tried to play some games with me. Despite trying to let him get away and trying to get away myself, we ended up drifting around for the remainder of the session before I pitted a lap early and called it a day.
Race One. A decent start allowed me to lead through the first corner and down Craner Curves, closely followed by Ryan Yarrow and a handful of other Spires. My first and second flying laps were not as good as the performance that I have seen at points this year, I didn’t manage to get to the pace quick enough. I would still lead by 4 seconds at the end of it but I have shown I can be better on first lap performance and need to ensure that it always happens. From Lap 3 onwards, however, I clicked into the process properly and delivered well despite losing some time to double waved yellow zones. I never had to push the car to its absolute limit throughout the session and won by just under 9 seconds at the checkered flag.
Race Two. I got probably my best start of the season but James Walker was right there with me from second to challenge me into the first corner. After maintaining the lead to the end of lap one, despite the more slippery track than the day before, I again pulled away from the chasing pack to finish the race 16 seconds in the lead, securing the RGB Sports 1000 Championship!
Even before qualifying for this meeting, regardless of the lack of testing, I felt very comfortable… like I could do it. All the hard work that had been put in to improve my driving and process in the car, combined with the pre-race preparation that goes in just had me extremely balanced all weekend. It’s the first time I have ever felt like this at a race weekend. I was ready to perform and that’s all that mattered to me at the time.
I can’t thank everyone involved enough for this season. Mittell have put together an amazing car and Dad/Tod have been great all year running it. Everyone for their support and Mum for taking loads of photos.