BOGNOR race ace Steve Ayres experienced extremes of emotion on his latest stock hatch championship outing at Snetterton – with his first-ever podium finish and a crash that wrecked his beloved motor.
Qualifying went successfully and Ayres was a fifth-placed starter for both races. His fast lap was used to set his grid position for race one and his second fastest for race two.
“I managed to get my car on two wheels turning in to the final corner – I’m amazed it didn’t roll,” he said.
In race one Ayres had a bad start and dropped down to tenth but by the end of the first lap he had made his way back up to fourth, and then third, vying with Martin Cayzer for second place.
Matt Rozier, the championship leader, was out in first place.
On lap seven Rozier had an incident with the back-marker, who had engine failure, and that was the end of the leader’s race, which meant Ayres moved up to second and fighting for first with Cayzer.
“I crossed the line in second position - my first podium of my motor-racing career,” Ayres said.
“I also set the fastest lap of the race recorded for class B at Snetterton.
“It felt fantastic coming second and I was really revved up for the afternoon race and wanting a win.”
In race two Ayres had another bad start because of a gear problem. But he was making his way back up the field until the last corner – only for his car to skid on oil left on the track from a previous race.
He hit the back of Derek Rozier’s car, sending him flying across the track. Drivers Matt Stubbington and Edward Copper both struck the side of Ayres’ car.
Ayres said: “I ended up on the grass and managed to get back in the race, but because of the damage to my car, the marshalls flagged me in.
“My car is now a total wreck. I have seriously bad damage to the passenger and driver’s side with both wings needing to be replaced, both doors needing to be replaced as they don’t close or open properly, damage to the bumpers and the exhaust hanging off.
“I’m not sure if the car will be ready for Silverstone at the end of the month but I hope to be back out at the end of the season for some more races.
“I am totally disappointed that what was looking to be a fantastic weekend for me turned out so bad.
“Through getting only one point for the second race at Snetterton I have moved down to sixth place in the championship.”