Sharp battles to keep the lead in the Championship

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Tom Sharp in the Paddock

By Chris Roberts/Widerviewphoto.com

Camberley’s Tom Sharp came to the unique layout of the Rockingham Motor Speedway, with its banking keen to come away still leading the championship.
The free practice on Friday was held in damp conditions with the teams trying to sort out the setups for a weekend where both dry and wet conditions were expected.
The qualifying session took place on Saturday morning in the dry conditions and Sharp only managed a 6thplace on the grid with his final lap.
As Sharp commented “We’ve had problems since the start of testing on Friday. The brakes weren’t functioning as they should and it took until after race 1 to diagnose the problem as a faulty brake calliper which just kept dragging air into the system causing the pedal to go to the floor”.
In the mix in Race 1
In race 1 Sharp made an excellent start, which propelled him into fourth by the end of lap 1, but quickly began to fall back as the braking issues continued. On lap 6 Jamie Orton made contact with the rear of Sharp’s car causing both cars not to finish. Orton was later penalised with 3 points on his licence, 9 championship deductions and a monetary fine.
The 2ndrace of the weekend took place in atrocious wet conditions on Sunday afternoon, and from his grid position of 14th Sharp had a great first lap overtaking cars left and right, and was in 6th place by the end of the lap. He battled throughout the race to make up further places but had to be satisfied with 6th place at the flag.
Battling in the wet
As Sharp wrapped up the weekend “I knew I needed to make progress from the back of the grid as quickly as I could but we didn’t expect the rain to keep falling in the way it did. All of the front runners started on a new set on Michelin wets but we opted for a worn set which held us back but to finish 6th in such difficult conditions wasn’t a bad result.” 
Sharp still leads the championship but only now by 15 points with rivals Breeze and Ingram closing in.
The next meeting is at Silverstone, on the short National circuit, on 6th & 7thOctober with two races over the weekend.
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Chris Roberts/WiderViewPhoto.com

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