Carlin’s Billy Monger endured a luckless weekend at Rockingham, but still left the Northamptonshire speed bowl seventh in the championship standings.
The 18-year-old recorded a best finish of seventh in an eventful race two, fighting his way up from 12th on the grid, while a strong result and a potential podium finish looked on the cards in race three before misfortune showed its hand.
“It was a bit of a shocker!” Monger admitted at the end of the weekend. “In race one we had a bad first lap and had to come into the pits but the pace afterwards was very good. I started 12th for race two and got up to seventh so that was good and I set the fourth fastest lap. The pace was good all weekend.”
He showed particularly well at the start of race three, making a decent start from fourth on the grid and was challenging the leaders on the run down to the tight Deene hairpin, but was prevented from making a move for position after being boxed in by team mate Nicolai Kjaergaard and Lanan’s Kush Maini.
A safety car period intervened but at the restart he was firmly in the slipstream of Maini and challenged again at Deene, only to lose position on the exit, running wide and losing a couple of positions. He immediately fought back and passed Krish Mahadik, and then set about closing down Tom Gamble.
“In the last race I was battling for position and had a thing with Tom Gamble which put me up on two wheels momentarily and out the race.
“The bad luck just keeps rolling on while you’re in a bit of a rut and Rockingham was like that for us unfortunately. Hopefully fingers crossed for the next few rounds, if we can get out, we will take a step forward because we’ve definitely got the pace.
“But it’s good to get stuck in, and I thought my race craft would be worse than it is considering how long I’ve been out of the seat for. I think my race craft is one of the strongest out there really in terms of the overtaking and stuff.
“There’s a lot of positives to take away, the pace in the wet and the dry towards the end of the weekend was good and overtaking was very good so we’ve just got to have luck on our side, put it all together and we can get a big result soon I reckon.”
Image credit Ebrey/Peter May
27 May 2018 - What they said: Snetterton race three
27 May 2018 - What they said: Snetterton race two
27 May 2018 - Race two starts at 10.15 – Maldonado on pole