Back on the podium
Strong performances in rounds two and three of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham and Brands Hatch have seen Forton based driver Tom Boardman pick up his first silverware of the season.
Having collected six points in the first round at Thruxton, Boardman arrived at Rockingham full of confidence in the Special Tuning UK Club SEAT Leon.
Although only qualifying in 14th place, Boardman headed into the first race with high hopes in the Hobin Group sponsored car. Spotting that the track was drying out fast Boardman made an inspired decision to start on slick tyres, and with most other teams opting for a wet tyre set up, he cut through the field to take fourth place and a brilliantly deserved first Independents' win.
Speaking after the race Boardman said: "I'm over the moon. The car had some issues in qualifying so to get that result and pick up a trophy was really satisfying."
Starting on the second row of the grid for race two Boardman struggled for pace and despite some fantastic on-track tussles, he was muscled down into tenth place.
But on the penultimate lap, Boardman's race came to an abrupt end when a collision forced him to retire.
After some incredible work by the team's mechanics and with additional help from Galgate sponsors KLS Motors, Boardman just made it to the back of the grid in time for the last race. However, he was soon making up places to finish in tenth.
Just one week later, the team headed to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
Productive practice sessions resulted in an 11th place grid slot, Boardman's best starting position of the season in the Bowland Spring Water supported car, and despite heavy rain and spray making visibility very poor, he put in a tremendous drive on the greasy surface to make ground and bring the SEAT Leon home in ninth place.
Another wet start ensured race two was full of incidents and although the car suffered a collapsed wheel bearing, Boardman was undeterred and put in an amazing drive to finish in seventh place, within four seconds of the race winner.
With conditions still damp for race three, the decision to start on full wet tyres looked to have paid off with Boardman taking an early lead.
An incident on the fifth lap then led to the safety car being deployed and the significant early advantage that the front three cars had gained was lost and he ended up with an eighth place finish.
Speaking afterwards, Boardman said: "Overall, we've had a good, solid weekend.''
Round four takes place at Oulton Park, Cheshire, June 5-6.