Battles at Croft
This round of the BTCC Championship saw Jack at the Croft Circuit, also marking the 50th anniversary of the only racing circuit in Yorkshire with a grid of 30 touring cars and a big crowd waiting to see what this weekend may bring.
So far the RCIB insurance racing team had never had much success on this course and were hoping to turn their luck around as they went into free practice, which unfortunately didn’t prove to go too well as Jack started struggling with understeer from his Vauxhall Insignia. Not managing to rectify the situation before the qualifying sessions, Jack finished in P19 – the lowest grid position of the year.
The first race of the weekend was a fight for Jack as soon as he dropped down to 27th after having been forced off on the first turn in lap one. However he determinedly managed to push his way forward up to P19 before crossing the finishing line.
Finally the team showed better results in Race 2 with Jack finishing on a deserved and strong P11, and the team’s luck also seemed to change as their place even got turned into P10 after Matt Neal was excluded for failing the ride height checks.
With the weekend on a turn-around, Jack also got a surprise just before lining up: Reversing the grid meant that he got to line up in pole position for round 15 of the BTCC Championships 2014. This exciting Race 3 got straight to it with chaos right from the beginning: Jack got hit on lap one turn one, which caused him to spin across the grass, but amazingly he managed to still be in P3 once he got back into the race. The next ten laps were clean, but shortly after that Jack found himself in the centre of all the action taking strong pushes from both Collard and Shedden leaving his car with hardly a straight panel left by the time the chequered flag was raised. Amidst all of this Jack was relieved to still finish in P6 positioning him 13th on the overall championship standing.
Looking back at this eventful weekend Jack concluded: “I struggled all weekend and to be fair I even struggled in the last race, the speed just hasn’t been there. We have been fighting understeer all season and Croft just didn’t suit an understeering car at all.”
However the car did improve in every session and by the end of the weekend the team had managed to solve the problem of understeering, meaning that they can work on really improving the car to come back strong after the break.
The next rounds of the series will be 2nd and 3rd August at Snetterton and we look forward to seeing you there.
Photo credit: Roy Powell