Perry Waddams Tells his story from Rockingham
Rockingham was sunny for a change and really quite warm which stood us all in good stead for a good session. I had been running in my newly rebuilt engine the day before so I had an idea what to expect. I had brought four sets of tyres for the weekend that we had used before and had chosen a set that had felt good the day before so was expecting to get a time close to last years front runners and we were aiming for a time around 1.30 sec’s,which we felt would be good for row one or two. I am getting quicker in the car as I get used to it so confidence was high as we filed out on track to start. After moving ahead of some of the class C cars on the first two laps warming the car up I was fortunate to find myself with a big gap in front and decided to put push as hard as I could early on while we had that gap on track. That tactic paid off,on lap four I crossed the line in 1.28 sec,s. Fantastic as it turned out we were quickest of all to put the car on pole position the first time this year.
I was a little nervous as I lead the field of cars around the green flag lap at the start of my first pole position race. There is a lot to remember as I was trying to get good temperatures into the car and not have the back of the grid to far away from me so as not to be sat on the line with water temperatures climbing. I was lucky as we didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes before the 30 second board was shown. The lights came on and rev,s were climbing as the lights went out I had another blistering start and when I looked in the mirrors exiting turn one I was still in the lead by a few car lengths so the fear of stalling or doing some think silly off the line hadn’t happened. It was a brilliant if not some what daunting feeling ,leading a pack of very quick “A” cars in my first race from pole. I knew I would have to push as hard as I was able and I was constantly looking in the mirrors to see where to position my car to fend off the cars from behind. This was all new to me and it was a lot to think about,so you can imagine it was very hectic in the drivers seat. I was trying to push on whilst constantly having to defend my line from the front runners snapping around the back of my car,not an easy thing to do. This frantic pace was kept up until on lap three the championship leader car 3 made a long lunge into turn two the hairpin,he was a good way back when I looked in the mirror and had moved over to cover the inside line into the apex. As I started the exit Hugh must have judged it slightly wrong and he clattered into the back quarter of my car pushing the back out and then rubbed along the car finally hitting my front wheel as he went passed this threw me very wide and he and Jamie Golby went ahead, followed by Martin Crass as I struggled to get the power down on the exit. I tried to hold onto the back of that group but by lap five or six my tyres were loosing grip and the car was understeering. By mid race lapping in fourth I had my old rival Andy Race car 89 right behind me who had recovered from a not so good start. He was all over the back of me for several laps. I out braked my self going into the esses taking to the grass, letting Andy through and crossed the finish line a couple of laps later in 5th position after an eventfull and hard driven race.
Starting from the third row 5th on the grid was not where I wanted to be and was keen to get a good start. As the lights went out the car hooked up really well and we gained a place going round the banking of turn one,into the hair pin in fourth. The first five laps seamed to be going really well and I was not loosing any ground to the leading pack just up ahead. We were lapping close to the target time of 1.30 so I thought we were in good shape to get back up to the leading cars but luck was not on my side. We had had to change my race tyres after race one as I had damaged them coming off the track earlier in race one. They were not giving much grip from from lap six and we fell away from the pace and into Andy Race car 89 terrortary. He caught me up quite quickly and I saw him looming large in my mirrors as I was fighting a lot of understeering. He miss judged his braking point into turn five and drove into the back of me doing quite a bit of damage to body work. I held him off as long as I could but into turn two the hairpin ,he came passed in a lovely move under braking and we came out of the hair pin nose to tale. Three corners later I saw a gap up the inside of him but due to my tyres not giving the grip I thought I had, I locked up in the braking area and clipped him at the turn in point sending me over the curbs onto the grass. I gathered it up and rejoined the track but he was too quick and I had to hold off the attentions of Cliff in his T350 for the rest of the race and crossed the line in 5th place again. So considering in both races I didn’t have the best of grip from my tyres I think we had an excellent result and now I have the final rounds at Oulton Park to look forward to, knowing I will be on the pace and shall be aiming to get on the top step of the podium.I want to thank my team, race mechanic Mike Baily who did a fantastic job all weekend and all the team at Dulford Automotive