Herbert closes gap in race for Mazda title

ALDINGBOURNE ace Luke Herbert was in action at Castle Combe in the latest round of the Mazda MX5 Cup.

He missed testing because of final exams at Loughborough University, meaning his first time on the track was in Saturday morning’s qualifying. He ended up in fourth place.

Race one saw Herbert in a hard-fought battle with one of his nearest rivals Jordan Stilp. They swapped places but Stilp finished just ahead. Herbert took second place and fastest lap.

The second race saw Herbert start second but run wide at the first corner and drop to fifth. A lap later, an incident saw the safety car come out for three laps.

After that Herbert set about catching the drivers in front, overtaking Chrissy Palmer and Adam Gore to take third and another fastest lap.

Race three had Herbert starting seventh and a brilliant start saw him up with the lead pack almost immediately.

Luck was not on his side, however - when he went to overtake for second place, his gearbox broke leaving him stuck in third gear.

Not wanting to damage the engine, Herbert just made sure he finished and came in fifth, also taking his third fastest lap.

Having closed to within five points of Palmer for top spot in the championship, Herbert heads to Brands Hatch on July 7 in his SRC Recycling-backed Mazda, where he will aim to narrow Palmer’s lead further.

Serena Stokes