Rob Smith found himself in the thick of the action during a rough weekend of Renault UK Clio Cup action at Rockingham.
The 21 year old headed into the weekend looking to battle in the top ten, and the Loughborough University started well running on the edge of the top ten throughout pre-event testing.
Smith was caught out by a drying-track in qualifying though, the Total Control Racing racer dropped to sixteenth fastest on the timesheets.
The Goodride Performance Tyres-backed racer made a smart getaway to a dry Round 13, threading his way into the top twelve. A move up to eleventh on lap three was the peak for the race, Smith eventually getting shuffled back to thirteenth at the finish, a result that became twelfth when a rival was excluded.
A great start to race two saw Smith move through the field from fifteenth into a battle for the top five, however some contact from rivals on the opening lap led to broken steering and an early retirement.
“I made a good start, up the inside of everyone down by the apron going into the hairpin,” explained the second year Clio racer. “I was late on the brakes but then someone else braked even later, put me off the track and then I was hit on the front, then the back. After that it was game over for us, the steering arm and rear beam were done.
“We definitely had a chance of the top five, certainly a top 10, but it’s another case of not being able to show our potential. We keep getting a carrot dangled in front of us of what we might be able to do, but something always gets in the way!”