Eyemouth racer Steve Sadler hovering near Scottish championship top ten
Racing driver Steve Sadler survived a second successive shunt off the track the latest stage of the Scottish Fiesta Championship Challenge Cup and is close to a top ten slot in the Scottish Motor Racing Club event.
They Eyemouth motor sportsman was frustrated to end up on the sidelines again at Knockhill on Sunday – through no fault of his own and in terrible weather.
However, he got his car home in both the day’s races and is in 11th position out of 17 in the championship, after three rounds and six races.
The occasion was the first in the series so far where bad weather played a part. The morning had intermittent rain showers which were heavier during testing but, by the time qualifying took place, the track was dry and Sadler ran with a dry set-up on the car.
The 54-year-old, in his maiden season of Fiesta ST racing, was happy with an improvement in qualification on previous rounds. He was in 11th place but very close to those ahead of him, with only seven tenths of a second separating third from 11th.
Competitors lined up in driving rain for race one and Sadler made a bad start, dropping back at least two places.
“I caught the group by the bottom of Duffus dip and stuck with them towards the hairpin,” he said. “The conditions were a struggle, with very poor visibility in the rain. As we approached the hairpin, I saw the opportunity to take the wet line and moved up the inside to take the car in front of me.
"Having passed cleanly, I took the hairpin and, as I accelerated away, I got hit on the rear driver’s quarter, immediately getting spun on the wet surface, pushing me backwards into the gravel. Finding myself at the back of the field, but still racing, I set about trying to catch up.
“Some laps later, an incident caused the safety car to be deployed and provided me with an opportunity to catch the field.
“When racing resumed, the conditions remained very difficult and this led to a number of incidents towards the front of the field. The race finished slightly short when a red flag was shown and I took the checkered flag in ninth.”
Sadler’s car suffered a fair amount of damage, although it was restricted to the panels.
The very poor conditions continued in race two, which started with two laps behind the safety car.
"I struggled to defend my position against some of the more experienced drivers, dropping back a number of places,” said Sadler. “The rest of the race continued under difficult conditions with a number of incidents leading to yellow flags.”
The race finished again under a red flag and Sadler crossed the line in 11th place.
“I brought the car home, chalked up some points and I continue to learn the car and gain experience in race craft,” he said. “The weekend certainly added to this experience, racing in tricky conditions, learning how well the car handles in these conditions and completing the two races, but still with room to improve.”
The next round features the one race in the series which is not taking place in Fife. It’s at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on September 12.