The weekend started well, I was happy with my ninth fastest lap time in the final practice session before the all-important qualifying period. I qualified 14th fastest and started the opening race from the seventh row of the grid, with my targets being points and as high a finishing position as possible as that would be my starting place for race two.
In race one I was happy enough with the car and its pace and I was planning ahead for race two; I was up to 11th place before I became a last lap victim of contact with fellow Scottish driver Gordon Shedden. There was a whack and Gordon went by and I was suddenly off the road! That had a major impact on me for the second race because it dropped me to 19th so I was starting in the body of the pack with cars all around me.
Race two started and I was making progress when there was a coming together at the second corner, a tight right-hand hairpin. I was hit from behind and it pushed me into the car in front; this resulted in bodywork damage on the front left corner.
Ironically, despite the bodywork peeling back and exposing the suspension, the car’s balance and handling were unaffected and I continued in a strong 16th place before the safety car neutralised the race after an opening lap crash. However the race officials deemed that my battered Mercedes needed attention in the pits, and even worse was that the instruction to pit came as the race restarted!
The Laser Tools Racing squad worked wonders to get me back on track on the lead lap but I was now down in 29th place and, to be honest, not very happy.
Nevertheless, I was determined to turn around it in race three.
And I think I managed that, starting in 29th and finishing 12th. I’d have liked that to be better, but we have to run a softer regulation tyre in one race at each meeting, and we had elected to use the softer tyres in race three. By the end of the race the tyres were destroyed! I was really struggling for grip and therefore for pace, so 12th was good. That said, after the disappointment of races one and two it was a decent way to end the weekend and it proves that I haven’t forgotten how to overtake!
The next action takes place at my home track of Knockhill, Dunfermline, on August 12th/13th and I can’t wait. It is our home race and it is where I made my BTCC debut so it is very special to me, my dad and the whole team. It really means a lot to have all the Scottish flags flying and I am determined to repay the support with three good results on home soil.