Yes, it was almost perfect, with 3 wins from the 3 races, to make it 8 wins on the bounce – a new record!
But, the smile was wiped off his face when the joy up in Bonnie Scotland was short-lived. In Race 3, due to contact on the first lap with the leading car, the race stewards decided to disqualify James and apply other penalties too. This seemed very harsh, as after being blocked left and right he took the inside gap at the hairpin only for the leading car to turn in under braking, which saw James hit the leader – with the leading car then spinning. Said car never really recovered as his clutch failed on the next lap, but the penalty remained despite an appeal at such a harsh decision under the circumstances. With one of the other added penalties also involving a further points deduction, it does bring the championship very close, so that will hopefully make it more interesting for all concerned.
Back to Saturday, where James led from start to finish to win comfortably – this despite being hit on the first lap at turn 1 (ironically by the same car he hit in Race 3), where the fibreglass body was bent against the tyre meaning for the next 7 laps James was breathing in fibreglass fumes and powder, making driving just about unbearable. With his eyes streaming he pulled down his visor in the hope it would help keep the fibreglass particles away. Almost considering returning, he decided to hold on for as long as possible, and as the bodywork was eventually worn away the smell and fumes stopped - making it possible to finish the race. He stayed in front for the whole race. This made it 6 wins from 6 races this season. Excellent driving.
Moving on to Sunday, and in Race 2 James again led from the start to the finish. All so comfortable, with no real pressure or trouble throughout, even in the early stages. Another P1 – and that made it 7 wins from 7 races this season! This was now drawing with the long-standing record. An excellent performance.
It was reverse grid for Race 3, with James pulling out ball number 4. So the first 4 places reverse positions for the grid on Race 3. James was starting in 4thplace on the grid. Off they went, P3 and James at P4 were almost straight passed P1 and P2, with James just having one car to pass to get to the front. James continued to try and get to P1 as they continued round that first lap, but the way past was constantly being blocked off. Then to the last corner, the hairpin, where there was the contact, and despite continuing the race at the front and extending his lead from the rest of the field, the punishment & penalties were applied.
Very harsh penalties, with a massive 47 championship points lost, when compared to previous similar incidents this season and previous seasons, but everyone has to move on and look forward to Snetterton in a fortnight. Hopefully some more success there.
But, all in all, it is a big well done to James!