It was the first UK circuit that I had watched the series compete at – and I couldn’t wait to tackle the oval section.
It took a couple of years but we were there. We got a track day and I absolutely loved it. The lap was a bit stop and start but there I got in a rhythm and was enjoying it. I felt I could do alright.
There is a mental attitude to Turn One. A bid concrete wall and no forgiveness. You get the line wrong by inches at over 125mph and you and the wall make friends.
And hit a wall at 125mph and there is only one winner.
Testing ahead of the weekend went well. I had an excellent car from Slidesports Race Engineering and my lap times were quicker than when the Class B VAGs visited Rockingham. Mark Jenkins was talking me through the weekend and we believed it was going to be a good meeting for us.
Qualifying almost went perfectly. I was just off the times I had set in testing. I was P1 for most of the session, but just got pipped right at the end. I was still happy with P2 in class.
Race one didn’t go to plan. I was starting 16th overall and got a great start. I was past four cars before we came out of Turn One but there were cars everywhere at Deene Hairpin. I managed to pick my way through only to find more cars off round the corner then another car facing the wrong way after Turn Three. I was up to sixth overall and leading the class but I just wanted to get into a rhythm.
It all started to go wrong on the second lap. I had turned into Deene but another car came into the side of the car and ran me wide on to the grass. I got back, but had lost the class lead and a couple of positions.
I went into recovery mode. I got quicker and quicker – taking the fastest lap in the class as closed the gap on Martyn Culley. I felt there was just enough time to get to him but then I picked the wrong moment to check the mirrors for a fast-approaching A-Class car. The split-second decision meant I was offline into Turn One and I hit the wall big time.
It was a huge impact that literally left its mark on the wall, but my only thoughts were for Slidesports. The car was badly damaged and my weekend was over, but they faced a big job to repair the Golf.
The wall had won this time. It won’t beat me because I will come back fighting. By Christie Doran