AUGHTON racer Sean Huyton showed the battling qualities of a champion as he overcame various problems at Rockingham to keep his sights set on the 2012 Ginetta GT5 title.
After achieving a hat trick of wins at the first round at his home track of Oulton Park in April, Huyton went into the second round at Rockingham knowing he was the man everyone wanted to beat.
A disappointing qualifying session led to fifth and seventh places on the grid for the first two races, with the race two result providing the grid for the third race of the weekend.
But the frustrations of qualifying were nothing compared to issues with his brakes and other drivers crashing into him, as Huyton’s weekend turned out to be a battle to stay on the track.
The results mean his championship lead was wiped out, but he sits just two points behind the new leader, who in contrast enjoyed a trouble free three races.
Huyton said: “Going into the weekend of races at Rockingham I would have been unhappy to not have the championship lead after the three races, but considering what happened in each race, I’m quite happy with the overall championship situation.
“If it wasn’t for other drivers knocking me off track I would still be leading the championship, so it just goes to show when you are ahead of everyone, you can become a marked driver.
“I’m just glad that it’s only two weeks before the next race weekend so I can put right a few wrongs from Rockingham.”
In race one Huyton went from fifth to second before the end of lap one and continued to chase the leader, Gary Simms, and stay ahead of the new championship leader, Mike Robinson.
Unfortunately overheating brakes meant he settled for second place and a bonus point for the fastest lap.
Race two contained much more drama, with Huyton leaping from seventh on the grid to second place by lap two, although the brake problems increased during the race and he was continually pumping them on the straight sections to be able to brake for the corners.
This prevented the 22-year-old from catching Robinson to challenge for the lead and instead mount a spirited fight to hold off anyone taking second place from him – until the last lap.
With Huyton almost guaranteed second place, he was first hit from behind by an over ambitious move from Thiago Calvet, which put both cars off track, before getting back on the track to be hit twice by William Burns on the last corner.
Fortunately Huyton managed to overcome these problems to finish in a remarkable fifth place, but the ten points he lost prevented him from retaining the over championship lead.
It meant he started race three from fifth place and as his tyres degraded following two hard races, settled for second place behind Robinson and some solid championship points.
He said: “Both drivers who hit me were simply not concentrating and went for moves that were not achievable.
“It’s so frustrating when your race result is impeded by moves that other drivers shouldn’t be doing, but there’s plenty of racing to go this season and I’m determined to continue battling for the title.
“The brakes overheating was a problem for most of the weekend and did hamper me a little, so once that issue is resolved I’ll be back on full throttle at Brands Hatch in two weeks.”
“Once again I can’t thank my family, friends and Academy Motorsport, for the support throughout the weekend and I’m looking forward to delivering some positive results next time out.
Sean’s next race will be at Brands Hatch on June 23-24. To keep up-to-date with his progress follow Sean on twitter @seanhuyton