Hi everyone, thanks for taking the time to read the next installment of my blog.
On reflection Knockhill was a very mixed, but enjoyable weekend. It was my first time at the infamous circuit and it certainly lived up to its reputation. During my opening few laps on the test, I could not get over the gradient change as well as the fact that pretty much all my apexes were taken blind! However, once I could hook a lap together, I found that rhythm which makes the track flow rather than being a mad merry-go-round where you find yourself just trying to hang on.
Qualifying was the closest of the season. I could see on my pitboard that I was 0.18 seconds off pole but the position said I was down in eighth! I thought the boys were trying to wind me up but sure enough I was down on the fourth row of the grid on a track where overtaking is limited.
Race one was absolutely nuts. I got taken out by one of the new drivers on the first lap which put me in the gravel. I thought my race was over so I undid my belts only to realise that I was only half in the gravel! I had a pretty scary lap trying to catch up to the safety car whilst doing my belts but I got there as the heavens opened! Considering I was down in eighth I thought I may as well try putting on wets and only risk losing another place in the queue if I got lapped.
The United boys did brilliantly. They actually changed all four tyres before the safety car came round, however, the pit exit marshal panicked a little and would not let me go, hence I went a lap down. The safety car decided to allow us to do a one lap shoot out which on reflection was very dangerous. It was fine for me as I had the grip to overtake every car up to third but it was clear to see from the way the other cars were handling in the wet on slicks that it was very dangerous.
So in race two I was set the target of meeting reverse grid pole which I am pleased to say we did. I was really chuffed with one particular move on Fergus which was done round the outside of turn one. At the time I fully expected him to fire me off but miraculously he didn’t!
I knew that I had the pace to lead from the front so I went into race three with good confidence. I defended heavily on the first lap and was able to make a break when David Pittard spun on the exit of the final hairpin. I had good pace, however, I overheated my rear tyres by spinning them up too many times on the exit of the hairpin and things started to get a little lairy!
I defended heavily a number of the times which would back Watson into Carl’s clutches. This turned out to be a bit of unwanted pressure for Carl as Robertson closed in on him a few times. Things calmed a little in the final laps and I started to make a gap which I maintained until the flag.
It was an awesome feeling to take the second win of my rookie season. I really hope to take some of this pace onto Rockingham. I really feel I should consistently be up front now. I am looking forward to Rockingham. It is the circuit where I first competed in motorsport, on a weekend where I also took my first podium so I hope this will act as a good omen!