Hylkema Misses Out On Rookie Win, Still Leads Class

by James Broomhead

Bart Hylkema missed out on a Rookie Class win for the first time this season at Snetterton, but still left Norfolk with a comfortable points lead after getting closer to the drivers in the premier International Class than ever before.

The 21-year-old continued to show his dominance in the class, qualifying well clear of rival Katoro Sakurai, and beating him easily for the class win the first of the weekend's three race. In the race – on Saturday – he was also able to run close the International Class runners, though elected to bank the points for his class win, rather than attack for positions that would add nothing to his title challenge.

In the final race of the meeting Bart had to fight past his Japanese competitor for class honours, having made a mistake off the start line. A spin by Sakurai allowed Hylkema to establish a healthy lead and claim another win.

The Sprint Race – sandwiched between the two longer race – was a rare disappointment for Hylkema. He started well, and was running well in mid-pack as the field approached the Montreal hairpin for the first. There he was one of several drivers involved in contact, damaging the suspension on the left hand side of his Dallara, forcing an instant retirement.

“It's been a bit of an erratic weekend in terms if our results but, generally, I'm happy,” said Bart. “In qualifying I didn't quite get the maximum out of the car or myself so I was a little bit disappointed with the gap to the A Class cars – that's a big target for me. However, the priority is the Rookie Class first and foremost and we took the pole positions quite easily.”

“Race one was probably the best of the weekend for us, I was able to keep the pace of the A Class cars ahead but after a while I decided not to push harder to make sure we took the win. I had a really good start to race two but the contact at turn two caused a lot of damage to the left side of my car. We were back on top in race three though so I'm happy about that.”

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