Rishover had made progress early on but then the tide turned. “I was charging and the safety car helped, but then came the rain. I changed to wets and it all turned sour,” he admitted after coming home 17th.
Verity had problems too, “I had a downshift problem and struggled for grip, so we had to make an extra stop,” he said after making home 20th.
It was Jackson’s turn to dominate the restarted second race, with De Sadeleer duelling for second with Jac Constable, until darting ahead on lap 10.
But Jackson suffered a catastrophic failure on his front right corner and crashed out at the Old Hairpin, leaving De Sadeleer first on the road, before a track limit penalty dropped him to second.
“I was lucky when I got on the grass exiting the chicane and thought it was all over and then set about chasing Jac,” he explained.
Richards and Rishover had both been first lap casualties, “I got rear ended at the first corner and then smashed by two more cars,” said Richards.
Verity made it home 11th however, despite having clutch problems. “It wouldn’t engage and left me on the grid for the start and restart,” he said.
So it was down to the title decider, De Sadeleer was totally in command as Jackson had to fight his way through from 15th on the grid.
De Sadeleer, Constable and Clutton were well clear up to the stops, but Jackson went in first, with De Sadeleer following two laps later.
As the rest of the field came and went, De Sadeleer was still stationery, with the crew trying everything they could find to shift the stubborn wheelnuts.
He re-joined a lap down, the win had gone but more importantly the title hopes had too. “I know I had nothing to reproach myself about, it just happened,” said De Sadeleer, who after finishing third in last year’s championship, had to settle for second, having almost had one hand on the trophy.
Richards and Rishover once again ended their disappointing weekends with retirement, “I just binned it at the chicane,” Richards admitted. Verity did take it to the flag but extra stops and a penalty left him 17th. “I still enjoyed it though,” he admitted.
Although the disappointment of missing the title in such a cruel way lays heavy, both De Sadeleer and the 360 crew have had a great season with seven wins and the runner up spot in the Championship and will be back next year even stronger.
By Peter Scherer