Car still down on power so car swapTeam provided competitive car for weekendTwo pole positions and one fastest lapWin in race one and eighth in race twoClosed gap to series leader by one point
Teenage racing driver Rob Cox, from Flamstead in Hertfordshire, endured another two days of mixed emotions this weekend in round six of the 2014 BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship. The 17 year-old claimed a useful haul of points towards his title aspirations, thanks to a race win, two pole positions and a fastest lap but a 'racing incident' cost him another podium finish, as he took eighth place in race two.
Rob was at Silverstone on the Friday of race weekend producing a series of promotion videos for his colleagues in the Fiesta Junior Championship, as well as several of the senior drivers, in his guise as director of RPM Media. Driver coach, works Aston Martin driver Tom Onslow-Cole, drove Rob's car and at the wheel, it soon became clear that troubles with the car meant the only resolution was to provide another car for Rob to compete in for the weekend.
Come Saturday morning, Rob was second-fastest in the first free practice session as he learned the new car's set-up which was different to his. In FP2 he was 0.3s a lap faster than the best lap from FP1 and he elected not to take part in FP3, instead concentrating on the qualifying session that afternoon.
He and coach Paul Rivett decided that Rob would post three flying laps then return to the pits to wait and see what other drivers would do. Rob's fastest lap was his second, posting similar laps on the next two, and as it transpired, this was also the fastest lap from the session and took pole position for the first race without him returning to the circuit, only completing 5 laps.
The first race on Sunday was inundated with rain, as was much of the UK. Rob got a poor start, having not practiced in the new car and found himself in third place by the first corner. However, he passed Michael Higgs for second on the first lap and a few laps later, series leader Geri Nicosia before opening out a seven-second gap to take the win.
As a result he started the second race from pole position and got a better start this time. However, with the field on wet tyres but a drying circuit, he made a slight mistake on the second lap and conceded the lead to Tom Grundy. Nicosia was in third and chasing until he spun off, leaving it a two-car battle for the lead.
Rob decided he could make a move around the outside as the cars entered the famous Brooklands corner and on the penultimate lap, tried exactly that. While he managed to stay on the outside, Grundy understeered and pushed him onto the grass. As he spun back on to the circuit, the two cars came together and Rob damaged a wheel and picked up a puncture. He was able to return to the pits, replace the tyre and continue to finish the race in eighth place while Sam Watkins, his WDE team-mate, went through to take the win.
The results mean that Rob maintains the gap behind him, to Higgs, at six points but closes the gap to leader Nicosia to eight points, with four races left to run.
Commenting, Rob said; "This weekend was a bit of a mixed one for me really. The qualifying and race one performances were great and I was really pleased with those. But with the result from the second, it wasn't a great weekend for the championship, due to a poor decision on my part"
"I've learned a lot more about strategy this weekend. Both Paul [Rivett] and Tom [Onslow-Cole] feel I need to think more about making moves which are as risky as the one in the second race. During the race itself, it felt like the right thing to do but clearly, I should have been thinking about the championship, not just that one race.
"Had I decided to settle for second, then the championship would look a bit different now. But I guess that's part of the learning process. I need to make sure I don't put myself in the position where my championship can be affected by someone else, but besides that WDE gave a fantastic car to do my best in."
Rob's next outing is at the penultimate round of the 2014 series, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on the weekend of 20/21 September.