CRAIG ROBERTS is celebrating a first race win!
The 30-year-old driver from Holmfirth stormed to 8-valve class success at Donington Park in the 750 Racing Club series for Mark II Golf GTIs.
It meant the Waterside Garage (Meltham) racer got full value for his day’s testing at the Leicestershire circuit – which he picked up half price! – and he’s now aiming to top the podium again when the series resumes at Mallory Park the first weekend of next month.
“I was ecstatic to win the race, highly delighted,” said Roberts, who started racing only in the middle of last season and was taking part in his eighth race of this year.
“Qualifying went well and I managed to be first in class and then, when it came to the race, I led from start to finish and felt pretty good from the first corner to the last.
“It was pretty uneventful, really, apart from Lap 4, when there was a loss of oil pressure which caused me a problem.
“If I’d been running at the back of the field I would probably have called it a day at that stage and retired it, but with me out in front and a first win on the cards, I kept it going and was over the moon at the line.”
The win, over 13 minutes plus one lap race duration, takes Roberts up to joint leadership of the 8-valve class and joint third overall in the championship.
“It’s amazing to have got things going like this and now I’m very hopeful of doing well again at Mallory Park,” he explained.
“Last year I took part in only three races and my best result was third at Mallory, where I had plenty of laps in qualifying and learned the circuit pretty well.
“So far this year I’ve had a podium finish in every event and to top the podium at Donington was a brilliant feeling. If I can build on that now at Mallory it will be great.”
Another win may also help Roberts attract the sponsorship which could cement him in the sport.
Anyone interested in offering backing can contact him on 07853 062232.
Meanwhile, Heikki Kovalainen’s “sportsmanship” has been hailed by McLaren F1 chief executive Martin Whitmarsh following Lewis Hamilton’s German Grand Prix victory.
Hamilton was indebted to Kovalainen late in the race at Hockenheim after the 23-year-old emerged behind his Finnish teammate after his second pit stop.
Kovalainen, running fourth at the time, had every right to hold his station and fight for a potential podium finish.
But with Hamilton lightning quick, Kovalainen pulled to one side at one point, allowing Hamilton to pass and proceed to hunt down Felipe Massa and Nelson Piquet to claim victory.
Whitmarsh claims Kovalainen was not told to move to one side.
“The reality in that particular situation was that Lewis was quicker than Heikki on the day,” said Whitmarsh. “When Lewis came up behind him, Heikki was sporting enough to move over – simple as that.”