Ups and downs in the Yorkshire Dales

Friday 12th September 2014

Rounds 11 and 12 of the Caterham Supersport Championship were hosted at Croft Circuit in the Yorkshire Dales. Close to the A1 Scotch Corner, it was the UK track furthest away.

It wasn’t long before James was right on the pace during Thursday and Friday testing; putting him in good steed for the qualifying and two races.

Arriving to a wet track on the Saturday morning, James was confident of a strong result. Croft is a tricky circuit in the dry, so it was bound to be a challenge in the wet. I love challenges, and I love the wet so was looking forward to qualifying despite having not driven the car in wet conditions. James went out in qualifying learning the limitations of the track and putting in some banker laps. He quickly learnt the limits and was able to progress up the order. With a real spread in speed, it was difficult to get a clear lap. When I did get the opportunity for a clear lap, I was able to hook it up nicely, and it put me up into P2 and less than 0.1s off pole.

Starting on P2 for race 1, James made a reasonable get-away holding his position to the end of the first lap. By lap 2, James had made it into the lead with half a second gap to second place man, Mike Hart. The fast, flowing nature of the Croft circuit ensured the racing was close and that it was difficult to break away. As a result, the race saw a close and exciting battle between James and Mike, with James coming across the line 0.2 seconds behind after Mike defended the final lap.

The second place finish from race 1 saw James start race 2 from P2, and after a strong start he was battling for the top spot. However, James position at the front was short lived when the front nose cone dislodged itself forcing him to pit to get the nose cone removed as the engine temperature rose. This pitstop dropped James to the back of the grid, where he had to battle his way up to P13 at the chequered flag.

It’s a real shame that we had the mechanical problem in the second race as I was looking for another strong podium finish. This result means I have to count one of my P9 finishes from the opening weekend at Snetterton, which leaves me with a small points lead going into the final weekend at Silverstone next month.

Despite the mechanical problem, the car worked well and we were quick all weekend, so I would like to thank DPR Motorsport for their hard work.

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