Stuart Middleton admits he has surprised himself with his dominant pace at Croft after converting pole position into a pair of lights-to-flag Ginetta Junior Championship victories yesterday (18th June).
The Douglas Motorsport ace set the tone for the weekend by topping the official test at the circuit last week, and while he was pipped to the fastest time in Friday practice by eight thousandths of a second, he proved unbeatable yesterday.
Fired up after losing the championship lead to Will Tregurtha two weeks ago at Oulton Park, Middleton topped qualifying by over a tenth and a half to his title rival, and would lead every lap of the opening two races.
The first encounter saw Middleton build an early gap to the pack behind before cruising to the flag, though it was more close-fought in race two as Daniel Harper kept him honest throughout, eventually following Middleton home for a Douglas Motorsport one-two.
“It’s been an absolutely perfect day,” Middleton told TCF. “Losing the points lead gave me more determination to come here and push even harder for victory, and it’s really made up for the last couple of races where things didn’t go exactly our way.
“I knew I had to step it up even more and work harder to get the championship lead back, but I’ve surprised myself with our pace here. We seemed to click with the circuit during the test day last week, I was really happy with the car and how it felt on track.
“It’s gone really well for us and it feels great to be back on the top and do the business.”
While Middleton heads into the final Croft race today with the potential to take a historic first hat-trick of wins on a Ginetta Junior weekend, he admits he’s just focusing on trying to enjoy a trouble free race in the action-packed series.
“If we could get another podium finish that would be absolutely awesome,” added Middleton, who now holds a 39 point lead in the standings after troubles for Tregurtha.
“It would make it the perfect weekend for me, but it will be hard work and I’ve got to try and not get involved in any little bits of contact, get a clean race and make up a place or two if possible.”