SWINDON’S Simon Belcher will head into the penultimate event of his first season in Touring Car racing in a relaxed mood next weekend, as he strives for more Independents Trophy points next weekend.
Despite a less-than-straightforward outing across Northamptonshire at Rockingham near Corby a fortnight ago, the Swindon driver was on the verge of battling for his first outright BTCC points result in the third and final encounter of the weekend – until late race contact ruined his chances.
Tagged by rival Daniel Welch on the high-speed oval banking at the beginning of the last lap, while travelling at approximately 140mph, Belcher was fortunate to avoid heavy contact with the concrete retaining wall at turn one after producing a tremendous save as his Toyota Avensis snapped round.
Eventually taking the chequered flag in 18th position, after providing one of the most memorable pieces of car control of the day, the two-time Renault UK Clio Cup Masters Cup champion secured his third Independents Trophy score of the campaign.
Having made excellent steps of late with the performance and set-up of his Handy Motorsport machine, the Rockingham weekend provided further evidence of the KÄRCHER-supported driver’s continued progression.
With better luck at Silverstone just over a week from now, a hat-trick of top 20 results certainly wouldn’t be out of the question for Belcher and he’s setting his sights as high as possible ahead of rounds 25, 26 and 27.
“There were a lot of positives to take from Rockingham and although it was frustrating to have the contact in race three, Welch was penalised and we did manage to get to the finish”, said the Wiltshire racer, “I’m confident we’ve got the set-up now to try and push for the top 20 in each race at Silverstone, it’ll just come down to doing the best job we can in qualifying.
“Last time out we did struggle to get the new tyres switched on in qualifying and that obviously put us further back down the grid than we should have been. If we get that sorted next weekend, I’m pretty confident we stand probably our best chance yet of our highest finishes of the year.”