So it all came down to the last race at the last round to decide the championship. Here’s the onboard as it all kicks off between Tanner and Thirwall…
Wet Wet Wet. Band of my childhood and fellow Glaswegians, also the most apt description of Sunday’s racing (my analogy that it resembled a certain tubby celebrity’s gusset in a kebab shop, used on Facebook, was apparently crude…)
Qualifying was actually not too bad place wise, positioned 7th, but at over 1 second off the pace, work needed to be done.
My race engineer, Barry Holmes, loaned me some better rear tyres for race 1 with a less feathered tread and these definitely helped. Brakes were still a problem, however. The pedal just lacked any bite and sometimes you were on them for quite some time before you actually got any stopping power. Started 7th, finished 6th, just managing to keep a charging Kenny Thirlwall behind me on the last few corners.
For race 2 we uncovered the braking issue, the pad material was no longer attached to the backing plate! Swapping on some new pads made an immense difference, a difference which unfortunately caught me out when a dab before the chicane actually unsettled the car massively allowing Kenny Thirlwall past demoting me to 7th. From then on I had to defend against Ian Munro and Greg Barnard to secure my 7th, a bit disappointing.
Race 3 video:
Belter of a start, got the drop on David Sleigh and drew along side Vic Covey Jnr. Vic kept it going round the outside then broke away whilst I defended from Dave.
Once Dave dropped back in to fighting with Ian Munro I got to fight with Vic after he ran wide at the hairpin. Just about lost it trying to go round the outside at Duffus when I hit the greasy bit but managed to gather it back and get the cut back out of Macintyres. 6th place to 5th, the best result of the weekend.
2013′s only away round was held at Oulton Park this weekend, with the leafy roller coaster Cheshire circuit bathed in sunshine and a packed 25 car grid.
Qualifying was disappointing with Malcolm only managing 9th place. After struggling to settle in to the circuit, the session was halted on the 4th lap just as he was finding his groove and was 4 tenths up on his previous best.
Race 1 was frenetic. After a first corner shambles with the lead cars Malcolm threaded his way through the carnage up to 6th but got pushed back down to 8th after cascades and the run up to island bend. After surviving an off through island at close to 100mph he was back in 9th with a lot of work to do and fought hard to get back up the field finishing 5th and getting the draw for the reverse grid pole.
Off pole he had one of his worst starts this year finding himself wheel to wheel with Kenny Thirlwall in to the first corner. Both kept it clean and without any contact, continued the race down to cascades. Ducking in behind Kenny for the first lap Malcolm was set to challenge but got forced wide by a late lunge in to Lodge that saw him taking avoiding action on the grass and briefly being airborne bouncing back on to the track in 5th. After seeing off some pressure from the team boss, David Sleigh, he made it back up to 4th despite some handling issues after his offroad excursions.
Not the best weekend of results but at the same time, 2 points finishes in the top 5 when both races could have ended in complete disaster!
Race 3, 9th on the grid, up to 7th by the time we got in to MacIntyres. Slotted past Josh Baird in to 6th at the hairpin on lap one and then had to fight him off for a few laps. The final few laps were spent chasing down Vic Covey Junior and then hooking on to the battle for 3rd between Joe Tanner and Kyle Reid. Heading along railway straight for the final time, Vic needed a little bump start to get him going then we had a drag race up to the finish line. Finished 6th, with 3rd to 6th being covered by just 0.18 seconds!
Better results than the first round last year, but at the same time, not as good as I was looking for. Still, I learned from it and theres a few instances especially in race 3 I made the wrong call and could have finished higher with some smarter moves. Then again, I might just have increased my bodywork repair bill exponentially and finished in the same place!