Not long after the dust had settled from round 2, we quickly went to work fitting a new braking system featuring a custom twin caliper set up from SR Autobodies and custom HEL Performance braided brake lines which now run inside the car.
Fast forward to race day we arrived at Rockingham Motor Speedway with high spirits, not even the typical British weather could dampen our spirits.
Thanks to the Dodo Juice cleaning products the car was sitting fresh and ready for action. As Driftcup uses the outer paddock for the events at Rockingham, it gives the judges free reign of any layout, which I was keen to learn what they were expecting of the drivers during the day.
Little did I know, this layout would be one that I wouldn’t forget! The first pass of practice was fantastic, the layout was incredible and I couldn’t get enough seat time.
I decided to opt for lead position during practice, this gave me the opportunity to learn the qualifying line the judges were looking for. An almost blind initiation onto a clipping point was my biggest problem as it was in close proximity to a wall; a wall that claimed several vehicles throughout the morning.
The harder I pushed the more comfortable I felt with the track and the car. At the end of the first hour I radioed my crew to prepare for a tyre change, I’d finally finished off the first pair of Zestino tyres that I’d used since round 1.
Whilst the car was in the pits I took the opportunity to speak to head judge Ryan Pothecary. He gave me some much needed advice on how to hit that perfect line. For the rest of the practice session I honed my line taking on board what I had been told.
Qualifying soon came round and my first run was the one to points on the board, A safe 46 points, not enough for top 32 but my best qualifying score this season.
The wait for the second run felt like a lifetime but when my crew radioed me to prepare and to warm the tyres I knew it was an all or nothing run. I gave it my all, almost scaring myself with how hard I was pushing. A 53.7 score for my efforts, finishing 45th.
My best finish so far, although not enough to get into the battles but I have learned so much about qualifying from a judges perspective and how I can adapt my driving to suit.
In addition, my good friend and 2012 BDC Champion Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith was happy to talk to me at the end of the day about car alignment and set up. Something I am very grateful for and keen to expand on to develop my understanding.
Thanks to everyone that supported me at this round including all of my friends and family, Havok Performance, Rugged Radios, Nispro Performance, Corbeau Seats, HEL Performance, AEM Intakes, PartBox.com, Mishimoto, Rota Wheels UK, K98 Media, Dodo Juice & Bean Vinyled.