Snetterton has always been one of my favourite tracks since I had my first ever test there in Formula Palmer Audi when I was only 16 – I also clinched the 2009 FPA title there so it holds many fond memories.
The weekend was a big one for me as I really wanted to be battling it out with the front runners as we moved into the second half of the Carrera Cup season.
Practice started off badly with a puncture, but thankfully this didn’t set me back too much. Despite missing out on track time again I went out in the second practice and managed to be the sixth fastest. I was fairly pleased with this but it wasn't a position I wanted to settle for.
That evening my engineer and I trawled through the data and had a discussion about set-ups for qualifying. We managed to get a set-up on the car that we were both happy with and I was ready for Saturday!
Qualifying had been my toughest task so far this season and I was desperate to start showing my front running race pace in qualifying. We decided to change the way we approached the session and it worked out well. We were second at the chequered flag behind my team-mate Stephen Jelley, although that was then third after Michael Meadows crossed the line even later to claim a front row spot. I was still very happy as we had taken third for both races – my best performance of the season and a testament to the hard work of the whole team.
I woke up on Sunday with only one goal – my first Carrera Cup podium! The first race was an early 9am start but I was ready for it. I managed to get a good start although Ben Hetherington had somehow passed me and I was down to fourth. This held me up and I realised he had jumped the start too! For some reason Hetherington didn’t pull in to take his penalty for a few laps, and Ben Barker used this opportunity to get by me.
I was desperate to move forward but my car wasn't at its peak until late in the race. I seemed to be the quickest car out there in the final five laps and I hunted down the trio ahead of me. Unfortunately it was too late and I had to settle for another fourth place. It's not a bad position but I wasn't entirely happy.
I was so determined to be at the front for race two. I got another decent start and set about attacking the two cars ahead of me. Unfortunately James Sutton came with me and I knew he wouldn't let me get away easily. This kind of forced to be a little defensive early on, focussing on maintaining position rather than trying anything silly.
The race seemed to go on forever but I managed to keep my cool and hold Sutton off without too much trouble. I just made sure he stayed in mirrors until the chequered and there it was, my first Porsche podium!
It actually felt a bit surreal at first – despite having won races and a championship before. This actually felt a bit like a victory when you consider the experience in the championship this season and continues our momentum towards the front.
There's still a lot of work to do and two more steps to climb before I'm completely satisfied but this progress is all part of the plan! I will do my best to get there although I've never been to Knockhill before, which is where we are next, so I'm sure there'll be a lot to learn next time out.
Thanks for reading,