OLI Basey-Fisher was left to rue a missed podium after making his Snetterton debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship.
Cheered on by more than 300 guests at the circuit closest to his Great Finborough home, Basey-Fisher felt he should have earned a spot on the podium in the first of Sunday’s two races after drivers ahead of him crashed out.
Instead he was forced to settle for sixth, which was followed by ninth place in race two, to leave him ninth in the overall standings with 157 points.
The 17-year-old said: “I certainly felt I was quick enough to get a podium through testing as I was quickest on Friday and third quickest on Saturday morning, so I was fairly confident coming into it.
“But it’s a bit of a mystery why this pace has gone — it’s a bit of a scratch-your-head moment.
“With people coming off I knew there was a good chance to try and get on that podium — it was the perfect opportunity, but I just lacked the speed.”
In round 12 of the championship, Basey-Fisher found himself under pressure in sixth from championship contenders Sennan Fielding and Niall Murray.
However, when Ollie Chadwick and Charlie Robertson came together he was unable to push his way through the order as Fielding and Murray made it past.
A spin for Harry Woodhead allowed Basey-Fisher to move up to fifth, but a recovering Robertson relegated the Great Finborough driver to sixth once more before the end — 7.582 seconds behind race winner Pepe Massot.
It was the teenager’s first top six finish since round four of the championship.
Although a neat pass on Will Palmer into Hamilton corner provided a highlight for round 13, won by Robertson, a ninth-place finish was below Basey-Fisher’s expectations and he is looking for improved results by the end of the campaign to help him make the step up to the Ginetta GT Supercup series next year.
“It’s a frustrating sport, but I feel like I’ve learned a hell of a lot and actually enjoyed the weekend,” he said. “I need a bit more experience on my behalf to get up to speed.
“I know I can get up to the pace during testing, but racing is a whole new ball game and is one I am yet to master.”
Despite the slightly disappointing results, failing to build on his opening race podium at the start of the season, Basey-Fisher admitted knowing a fair few of the expected 30,000-strong crowd were there to support him on the undercard to the British Touring Cars Championship (BTCC) was a humbling experience.
“It’s fantastic — I enjoy every weekend thoroughly,” he added. “You cannot get away from the brilliant atmosphere from any track on the Touring Cars package.
“To have 300 supporters here, a lot of whom I personally know, was a wonderful experience — I can’t thank everyone enough for helping me get here.”