Well it's safe to say that Croft was unfortunately yet another learning curve. To say the last couple of meetings have been tough would be an understatement but I guess that can all be expected in your rookie season. I think it's been a bit harder to stomach recently as I would like to think that I've showed that my pace is very capable of running at the front end but I've had some serious bad luck!
I've found that confidence is key in a touring car and without that the odds are really stacked against you. It's not easy to jump into a car and go fast straight away but instead it's a combination of raw speed and engineering, without both it simply won't work.
These's two ingredients were beginning to fall into place and Croft could have been the platform to showcase this. My plan as always is to have a strong top ten in race one, backed up by another in race two and then see what happens in what I call the bonus race that is race three. This was all going to plan in race one at Croft when I was running 8th but with a couple of laps to go I got a puncture which dropped me down to 10th. Race two was shaping up for a good one but some freak suspension failure at the midpoint dropped me out of 7th. Despite the team's best efforts the problem carried over into race three where I was forced to retire.
But to be honest all that is racing, something which I've come to expect at this stage! Without the problems we found at Croft we probably wouldn't have gotten a chance to go testing in the big break. Croft highlighted certain areas of tyre wear that we need to focus on and this was the main reason for our test day at Brands. Mat and I both tried out things that we felt could be improved and coming away from the day it's safe to say yet another step forward was made. From the outside the car always looks the same but under the skin the car is being constantly evolving, we're always tweeking certain parts to try find an edge and hopefully at the next few rounds this work will pay dividend.
While nobody likes another big gap in the calendar it really has given me the chance to put the first half behind me and come out fighting again like it's round one. It's safe to say that in the half season I've had in touring cars I've learnt more than all my other years racing combined, I've loved every second of it to date (despite all the woes) and I really can't thank everyone enough for their support. Hopefully in the second half I'll be able to give everyone something to cheer about!