Britcar newcomer Christie Doran admits she is praying for a break after heartbreaking late drama cost her a class podium at Oulton Park.
Christie, from Falkirk, was fighting for third place in the opening 50-minute race and the clock showed just two minutes left when her Slidesports Race Engineering Golf slowed and the engine cut out.
The fault ended her race and her weekend.
She said: “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck. It was a really frustrating way for the race to end.
“It had been a great weekend up to that point. Testing had gone very well. We had found lots of time and knew we were competitive. I went even quicker in warm-up, then matched that time in qualifying, where I was third in class but only by four hundredths of a second.”
Christie (23) was full of confidence as she lined up alongside Ferraris, Mercedes, Ginettas and TCR cars in the multi-class field, but her major battles would be with the Smart For Four of Rob Baker and Lucas Nanetti and a Lotus Elise, driven by Andy Napier.
They enjoyed a 20-lap battle that ebbed and flowed and it looked like Christie had cemented third place in class as the clock ticked down but then the final drama struck.
Christie added: “I just lost power. I tried resetting it but nothing happened. I was on the start-finish straight so I was desperate to get the Golf on to the grass and the marshals were excellent in pushing the car to safety.
“The team did everything they could to get me back out, but it was not to be. That sort of sums up the season. We made the move from the VAG Trophy to the Britcar Endurance Championship and I am loving the classes and longer races, but we have had a real challenge with the budget.
“We had to miss the round at Silverstone, now we have only managed one race here. We will keep working on it but it has been very tough.
“We will try to take positives from Oulton. I was on the pace, my race craft was good and my fitness was really good. The team did a great job, so now we move on. The fightback starts here.”
Christie admitted that the time she has spent out of the car has been even tougher because she loves the new challenge and is in the best shape of her life.
“My fitness programmes have been going really well and I feel mentally and physically sharp,” she said. “Being in endurance racing means more cardio. My programme is split into separate days so I do weights for arms on a Monday, shoulders Tuesday, core Wednesday and so on.
“The Britcar Endurance Championship is a superb series. There are different classes with cars going at very different speeds so you have to be alert.
“You are making a lot of decisions at more than 130mph so you definitely want to get them right.
“It was a jump from 15-minute sprints to 50-minute races but I coped well with that at Rockingham. The hardest part is keeping an eye out for faster cars like Ferraris, but not wrecking your chance to battle in your class.
“But it has been a great learning process for me.I want to do longer events in future.”