Christie Doran storms to third place in the final VAG Trophy round

Track action (Photo by Lewis Houghton)RACER Christie Doran stormed to third place in the final VAG Trophy round of the season, then admitted: “I was determined to end the season on a high.”

The SlideSports Race Engineering Scot clinched third place in the B Class championship for the second year in a row and ended the season with four podiums.

She had arrived at Oulton Park in Cheshire in a confident mood – having finished second twice in the previous round at Thruxton in Hampshire.

Christie said: “You always want to finish the year with the good result. It gives you a good feeling over the winter. This has been a long, hard season. We felt right on the pace the first round at Rockingham …until the crash. I feel like I have been on the back foot since then, but I regrouped and got the results at Brands Hatch, Thruxton and now at Oulton.”

It had looked like being a long weekend as she had to settle for sixth place in qualifying and any progress in the first race was halted by a long session behind the safety car.

She added: “That was tough. I felt like I was driving well, but it was not reflected in the lap times. My SlidesSports team were great though. They talked me through everything, made a few set-up changes and I was confident for the race. Unfortunately, there was a big crash and we spent a lot of race behind the safety car. That meant I couldn’t overtake.

“We got one racing lap at the end so that was all a bit frustrating, but it probably made me even more determined in race two.”

Christie made a great start but another big crash forced the organisers to stop the race. She repeated the feat on the restart and was up to second in class. She said: “Simon Tomlinson was a guest driver for the round, and it was a good fight. We were together coming up to Lodge at the end of a lap and it made more sense to let him go rather than risk anything. I had championship points to fight for, he didn’t. I just let him past and concentrated on building a gap to Scott Fletcher in fourth.

Podium (Photo by Lewis Houghton)“It was great to see the team cheering at the end. It has been a long hard season. Oli Larsen-Wright has done a great job as my engineer. He has been so laidback all year – just what I have needed.

“Team boss Mark Jenkins has worked hard with me and I was delighted to pay him back with that result. Now the focus turns to next year. I am not sure what we will do. My sponsors have been great in helping me race this year and we need to talk to them about next year. The VAG Trophy is a tough series and I have finished in the top three for the past two seasons.

“We have a couple of options for the future, so we will see.” By Alister Johnstone 

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