HARRIS SALVAGES A POINT AFTER FUEL DRAMA Matt Harris won't remember the third Formula BMW UK Championship meeting of the season with particular fondness, but he did at least take a point away from Rockingham Motor Speedway after a fairly fraught...
HARRIS SALVAGES A POINT AFTER FUEL DRAMA
Matt Harris won't remember the third Formula BMW UK Championship meeting of the season with particular fondness, but he did at least take a point away from Rockingham Motor Speedway after a fairly fraught event.
"I wouldn't say it was the weekend from hell, but it was getting pretty close to it," said Harris. "I'm the first to admit if I've made a big mistake but this time I feel I did most things right but lost out due to some set-up problems, a few racing issues, and in the end a team error."
Changeable conditions for qualifying proved a headache for all the teams, with Harris and his SWR squad perhaps suffering more than most as they tried to second guess Northamptonshire's climate.
"The set up we chose for the first session was probably too much of a dry setting for conditions that ended up pretty torrential," Matt explained, "and in trying to compensate in the wet session we went too far towards a wet set-up. The car was visually sliding around too much, and while that made it fun to drive, it wasn't very quick."
He therefore lined-up 17th and 14th for the two races, but with a reputation for storming starts and a great instinct for overtaking, Harris still had a good chance of collecting some points. Round five began well, as Matt stormed past his nearest rivals and made up five places before the first corner, only to lose them all again as he had to back right off to avoid a collision just ahead. That would be the story of his race day, as Harris regularly got alongside other drivers only to find himself hung out on the wrong part of the track and unable to complete the move, or pushed onto the grass as he tried to overtake. He still made it through to 12th in race one, and was then running ninth in race two before his car began slowing out of the final corner as, incredibly, all four SWR cars ran short of fuel on the last lap. Team Principal Trevor Powell personally took complete responsibility for the error.
"I was quite a disappointed chap," Harris admitted. "Trevor was absolutely gutted, and I can understand how the error happened and I'm certain that it won't happen again. A couple of cars got past me out of the last corner as the car slowed, but one of them was later penalised for jumping start so I did at least get tenth and a point.
"We had been quick in testing but everything went wrong during the weekend itself. But that's how motor racing goes, you do have weekends like that. I'm confident that I was driving well in the races and would have been fast if I hadn't been stuck down in the traffic, so hopefully next time we can just qualify better and have a more successful result."