The first corner was a worry. The foreigners behind me weren’t as quick to set off so I had space behind me. Rob put Greeny out and left a wide open gap, I followed Mat through it.
Then there was a pile up and he went straight in. I’d seen it coming and backed off, I got around it and that was it, I was away in the lead!
I managed to pull a good lead out over Dan. We’d tyred the car up so it would be good at the start of the race. We were unfortunate with the yellows, it closed it up again.
Then Chris Cowley spun and I hit him, that let Dan through, and I think Mick hit Cowley?
I could tell Dan was pushing it and working the tyres. I said to myself, “You’ve got to be patient”, but I’ll be honest, it was hard to do, watching him drive away from me. But I was confident I could get back on him, he began to get looser and looser and I started to catch him.
Then I was thinking, what do I do when I do catch him? He’s a hard driver is Dan, I didn’t think he’d just let me pass.
I was nearly on him when We were up with some backmarkers, and I calmed it down a bit, I didn’t want to get involved with them. I think Dan knew I was on him by then, maybe it pressurised him a bit into a mistake, but he burst his tyre and I was through. And that was it!
It wasn’t easy, but I’m just made up! It feels really good, it’s been an 11 year gap, so I think it’s overdue!
The car was built for it, and it’s been really good all season. The team and everyone have worked hard on it the last few weeks, there’s been lots of work. The gear box, the diff, everything that you think might go wrong, it’s all been taken off and checked over. You’ve just got to do it, you don’t want to be leading the last five laps and worrying about the diff going…
I’ve got a list of people I want to thank, it’s a big one….
All of my sponsors, for everything, couldn’t do it without them.
The whole team and the family, for all the help and support and just being there.
The meeting sponsors, Power Maxed.
All the fans over the whole weekend, and especially the Dutch fans, it wouldn’t have been the same without them, and for all their support and buying the merchandise – we sold out of everything! It was just immense, thank you to all of them.
The promoters and all the track staff, especially Sophie Clark who I know did a load of stuff behind the scenes.
Richard Howarth, who brought the spare engine down for us. I was going to go back and get it, but he went and picked it up for us and brought it down Saturday morning.
All the photographers that send their pics into the website, and Carl for putting it all together and keeping it going.
I also want to mention Pete from Louth. He died just before Belle Vue, his last meeting was the Buxton Semi. He was always a big supporter of me and my dad, and we were gutted that he wasn’t there.
I was also gutted that I couldn’t enter the Ben Turner Memorial Race, as it was the Grand National. I’d have liked to have won that for him.
I also want to say thank you to all the fans that sent me cards and stuff wishing me luck, really nice, and I really appreciate them all.
Massive thanks as always to Martin Fitzgerald, Colin Casserley, and Marvin Hall for the photos.