Ben Barker came within a couple of laps of returning to the Porsche Carrera Cup podium after a determined charge from the middle of the pack at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
After a couple of frustrating rounds in the German national series, the former West Suffolk College pupil was looking to return to the top three.
Some slick pit work from the Land Motorsport team during a wet race at the Austrian Grand Prix venue looked set to propel the 24-year old back among the silverware.
But when his move for third place was met with excessive resistance, Barker’s day ended with an untimely trip across the gravel, leaving him back in an unrepresentative eighth place with no time to mount a recovery.
Barker said: “It was a dramatic race right from the start. Thinking that the track was going to dry out, most of the field started on slicks, but it quickly became apparent that the conditions weren’t going to change.
“On the last lap of the second safety car period, I took the decision to pit for wets and my race was transformed. I wasn’t the only one making the call on tyres, so it wasn’t easy, but I quickly found myself in the hunt for a podium.
“Unfortunately, as I was lining up my move for third place, the car I was overtaking started moving across, pushing me onto the slippery side of the track.
“A small lock-up caused me to clip the white line and that sent me through the gravel trap.”
Barker admitted that his recent qualifying woes had still not been entirely solved after starting 13th for both of the weekend’s races.
“I felt that I was turning in good clean laps, but the stopwatch was saying otherwise,” said a frustrated Barker.
“It seems that I am not getting the peak of the tyres to work effectively and we need to get to the bottom of that.”
His eighth-place finish came on the back of a sixth-place in the weekend’s opening round.
Barker said: “All in all, it was good to get some decent points from a poor qualifying position, but I really want to be back on the podium.”
After a short break, Barker will return to Porsche Mobil1 Supercup action at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend of August 21-23.
n This weekend sees Stowmarket’s Josh Webster racing in rounds nine and 10 of the Porsche Carrera Cup at Snetterton.
Webster is currently second in the overall standings following his first eight outings.