WEYMOUTH racer Sam Webster suffered a “cruel blow” as mechanical gremlins halted his charge for a podium in the second round of the British GT Championship at Rockingham.
Competing in the GT4 classification with team-mate Matt Chapman, the pair were challenging for second place before an oil pressure problem and a sheered suspension bolt ended their race.
Despite the disappointing result, Webster was encouraged by a competitive weekend’s running after a difficult opening to the season in the previous race at Oulton Park.
“Personally, the improvement both Matt and I made gives me huge confidence going forwards.
“I was really happy with my stint, especially after how tough it was at round one. So to bounce back and be battling away at the front is a great sign.
“Running at the front of the field is where we want to be so if we continue the hard work that’s exactly where we’ll end up,” he said.
Having claimed fifth place overall in GT4 qualifying, Webster’s number 63 car was passed off the line but the 20-year old responded by regaining the position halfway through his stint.
A safety car period then threw Webster into the mix at the front and he pitted in fourth having closed on the second and third place cars.
Some good work by the pit crew saw team-mate Chapman emerge in third after the switch and some impressive opening laps saw him gain on the McLaren 570s in second.
Just when Chapman was closing in, the oil pressure issue forced him to back off and the duo’s misfortune was complete when a suspension bolt sheered, forcing them to retire.
Reflecting on the nature of his car’s retirement, 20-year-old Webster was understandably frustrated.
He said: “It was a cruel blow for the entire team, everyone had worked so hard over the weekend to get the car as competitive as it was.
“The boys played a blinder in the pit stop and our timing to pit was spot on as well.
“Matt was doing a mega job and we should have been stood on the podium if we hadn’t had the mechanical issues.
“But that’s how it goes sometimes, neither of the issues could’ve been prevented so, as tough as it is, we have to all pick ourselves up and take the positives away from the weekend and be ready for round three.”
Next up for the pair is a trip to Snetterton in Norfolk for round three on May 27-28.
n You can follow Sam’s progress via his twitter feed @Sam_WebsterRace and watch the event live on Front Runner TV or the British GT Facebook page.