That was so annoying, but the beauty of the BTCC’s three-race format is that you get two other chances during the day. Sure, you start race two where you finish race one, so that meant a mid-grid 15th place again, but as ever I was up for the fight.
I made a cracking start, desperate to get out of the mid-grid danger zone, and was into the top 10 before the opening lap had ended. The car was really up on its toes without the success ballast in it and raring to go. Sadly, contact with my old team-mate Mat Jackson meant we both went off, although I was able to continue, albeit down in 31st place.
It was then that I realised just how good the BMW is, especially at a circuit that’s historically favoured front-wheel-drive cars. We were flying and I charged from 31st to 15th, setting the fastest lap in the process. The point for finishing 15th and the point for taking fastest lap could be crucial come the end of the season – remember that the title was won by a two-point margin in the final race of last season. You never know when you might need them.
Race three was another missed opportunity. The conditions were horrendous at the start, there was so much standing water. I got a good start, but in my opinion the race should never have got under way in those conditions. It was impossible to see anything – even leader Matt Neal, the only guy with no spray to contend with, went off on standing water at relatively slow speed. The aquaplaning was horrendous – we were just passengers, even on part-throttle.