In the two practice runs at Thruxton, I was confident and our speed was good. For the first one, we stayed on old tyres and ended up second-fastest, which I was happy with; in session two, I went out on new tyres and lapped second-quickest again. I was a little disappointed with that, to be honest, because my fastest lap would have been three tenths quicker but I got held up through the last corner by someone stopping on the track.
I went into qualifying with confidence and the car felt good, but on my 'flying' lap – when I was two tenths up on pole position – I came across a spinner at the final chicane, meaning I couldn't go flat-out through there. I ended up second, only six hundredths off pole! Then in second qualifying, on my quickest lap I was pushing really hard but I made a slight mistake which cost me a few tenths. I ended up fifth, which again I was disappointed with.
In the first race, I got a good start and pulled alongside the pole-sitter, but when I went to change gear from fourth to fifth, it wouldn't engage properly, which cost me time and I slipped to third. Then, heading down the back straight, I got alongside second place but he just pushed me off the track. I spun and came back on facing the wrong way. It's pretty scary having cars coming directly towards you at 155mph and I was just praying for no-one to hit me, and luckily nobody did. The other driver got points on his licence and a fine.
I was still confident ahead of the second race, and following a good start, I got into third place and on lap five, I overtook the driver in second. I was starting to catch the leader, but then I made a schoolboy error and spun, which dropped me right down the order and left me with a damaged front wing. Looking at the lap times afterwards, we were definitely quick enough to have held onto second place, and we may even have been able to challenge for the win…
It was another frustrating weekend in terms of results, obviously, but we had the pace to be on pole and to fight for the podium, which was a massive improvement over the previous couple of meetings. It was a shame that we were unlucky in the first race and that I made the mistake in the second, but there were lots of positives, too. Everything came together at Thruxton – we all seemed to work in a much more structured manner inside the team, and we made progress all the way through. We definitely took a big step forward.