Herbert and Palmer go nose to nose for Mazda title

Luke Herbert in action at Rockingham  Picture by MattLynhamPhotography.co.uk

Luke Herbert in action at Rockingham Picture by MattLynhamPhotography.co.uk

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Aldingbourne ace Luke Herbert and West Marden’s Chrissy Palmer headed to Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire for the penultimate rounds of the Ma5da MX5 Cup.

Going into the weekend Herbert was leading the championship by six points from nearest rival Palmer. 
Qualifying didn’t go as planned for Herbert and he started the first race on the second row of the grid behind closest rivals Palmer and Stilp. 
Herbert made a good start and with Stilp running wide at the first corner he stole second place.

The safety car was deployed after an incident further down the pack, bunching the field up again. As the race resumed Herbery set about overtaking Palmer for the lead but Palmer defended well and won with a fastest lap to boot. Herbert finished second by just 0.4 of a second. Race two saw Herbert start from second and although he made a good start it was not enough to catch Palmer, who again recorded fastest lap as he clinched another race win. This loss saw Herbert lose his championship lead.
Race three and a reverse grid meant Herbert was starting sixth with Palmer behind. Herbert made the perfect start and was up to third by the end of the first lap as Palmer struggled to make his way through traffic.

Herbert made a move on second-placed Adam Gore into the hairpin and set about catching leader Stilp. After four laps of hard-fought racing Herbert overtook Stilp to gain the lead where he stayed for the rest of the race.

A move by Stilp on the last corner of the final lap caused contact, but Herbert kept the car under control and crossed the line to take the chequered flag with Stilp and Palmer second and third.

Herbert later learned he had gained best improver and fastest lap as well as the race win. 
Herbert retains the championship lead by five points going into the last round of the championship, which takes place at Croft Circuit, Darlington, this weekend (Sep 8-9).

Herbert praised his father Keith for the set-up of the car at every round and SRC Recycling Ltd for their continued support.

SERENA STOKES