Leader Lawson Wins Again At Home

Robert Lawson provided plenty for his home supporters to cheer at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, Sunday, 1st June, the leader of the 2008 SEAT Cupra Championship extending his advantage in the title race yet further after another dominant victory – his fifth of the campaign.Living, quite literally, a stone’s throw from Croft in the village of Barton, near Richmond, Robert has been looking forward to his home event all season. The Bardon Aggregates and Bardon Concrete supported star certainly didn’t disappoint either, his lead in the driver standings now sitting at 28 points over his nearest rival.“As far as the championship goes, it’s been pretty spot-on this weekend and from the points available to us we’ve scored very well indeed”, said Robert, “I had a lot of support this weekend with Croft being my local circuit, it’s very special winning in front of so many of your friends and family – I’m absolutely delighted.”The 31-year-old, a SEAT Cupra Championship rookie, started the weekend well by securing pole position for round nine, his sixth of the year, under beautifully sunny skies on Saturday with a terrific lap of 1m 27.293 seconds (87.63mph) – a full four 10ths of a second faster than JHR Developments team-mate Andrew Herron.Conditions took a turn for the worse, however, ahead of Sunday’s race action with heavy and persistent rain creating almost impossible driving conditions on the 2.12-mile track.With the raceday timetable greatly affected by the weather, the ninth round of the SEAT season eventually got underway over an hour late and although the rain had ceased by that point, track conditions were still incredibly tricky.For that reason, championship officials decided to start the race behind the Safety Car and so the true race action didn’t get underway until lap four. Robert immediately made a good break and although he didn’t have the spray his pursuers would have to contend with, as the lead driver he had to find out where the grip actually was.Lapping strongly at the front, the talented racer controlled the gap to second-placed Herron and all looked well placed for a relatively straight-forward win. The Safety Car was deployed on lap nine after Daniel Rowbottom careered into the tyre barriers on the exit of Tower Bend but at the re-start, over just one lap, Robert made no mistakes.He commented: “When the Safety Car came out it was a bit annoying as I had built up a small gap and I had to do it all again from scratch at the re-start. With Andrew (Herron) behind me though, I knew he wouldn’t do anything stupid.“The hardest thing when you’re the lead car on a day like that is you’re the first one through the standing water. You don’t want to be the first one to make a mistake so you have to be very careful and conservative with braking points. I still managed to have the pace over the guys behind though. I’m delighted to take another win.”Due to time restrictions imposed by delays caused by the inclement weather, the planned 10th round of the season had to be canned so everyone is now awaiting a decision on when that race will actually be contested. During qualifying for round 10 on Saturday, Robert produced the second fastest time with a lap of 1m 27.390 seconds.The SEAT Cupra Championship now takes a six-week break ahead of the 11th and 12th rounds of the season at Snetterton in Norfolk on 12th/13th July.Provisional 2008 SEAT Cupra Championship Driver Standings (after Rd9)1st Robert Lawson, 159pts; 2nd Martin Byford, 131pts; 3rd Carl Breeze, 118pts