CHRISSY Rouse ended his second term in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship with a solid fourth place finish at the season finale at Brands Hatch.
Having already secured fourth in the championship, the Geordie had been hoping to finish the year with another podium or even a win, but was forced to settle for fourth after struggling with grip throughout the 14 lap race.
The Newcastle University student had qualified second on the grid for Sunday’s race, and was keen to make the most of it aboard his Mission Racing BMW machine.
Getting a clean start, he dropped to third when he was passed by champion elect Danny Buchan, and soon began too struggle with some electronics issues which had plagued him earlier in the weekend.
The maths student managed to keep his head down and power on, and had hoped he could hold onto third all the way to the flag. But, in the closing stages of the race, a charging Josh Elliott appeared behind him on the Tyco BMW and eventually Rouse was powerless to stop him coming past.
It meant the 22-year-old had to make do with a fourth place, which he admitted wasn’t what he’d wanted.
“I’m a bit disappointed with that, I don’t know what was wrong but I felt like I had no grip,” he said. “We’ve been having a few problems with electronics, I’m not sure if the traction control wasn’t working or something, but I had a lot less grip than in qualifying and was unable to get close to the times I was doing comfortably the day before
“In the race, I really felt I should have been able to challenge for the win – I think we had the pace but straight away I realised it was going to be a struggle. I was having massive moments out there and I had to fight hard. I thought we would be able to hold onto third, but in the last couple of laps it was getting worse and worse and I realised it wasn’t going to happen.
“It’s been a great season. Yes, I’m a bit disappointed not to have ended it on the podium but I’m taking massive positives from the season as a whole. We’ve come such a long way since the start of the year, and I have been a consistent front runner in the last few months. It definitely puts us in a good position for next year.
“I’d like to thank Russ and everyone involved at Mission Racing for everything they have done this year. We’ve had a good year and my team-mate Jordan has also had an incredible season, finishing second overall in Stock 600.
“At the moment we’ve no plans finalised for next year, but hopefully we can get something sorted out soon and come back in 2018 and have a shot at the title.”
*Images: Bonnie Lane