Howard Fuller says he ‘dug deep’ after posting a last-gasp effort to claim third on the grid for the opening TCR UK Series race at Silverstone in the SWR-run Honda Civic TCR.
The former British Touring Car Championship racer struggled with his setup during the early exchanges of the half-hour session, but gambled on slick tyres as a drying line emerged on the 1.6 mile National circuit in the final minutes.
His reward was third, narrowly missing out on pole position to WestCoast Racing’s Daniel Lloyd and second to the Laser Tools Racing Alfa Romeo Guilietta of Aiden Moffat.
Having not raced competitively for three years, Fuller was left emotional in the pit lane after the session.
“In all honesty, I thought it was all lost with the strategy we went for,” admitted Fuller.
“From the information we gathered during the warm-up and practice sessions, we had an idea of what we wanted to do for qualifying, which was a gamble and it didn’t work.
“But we dug deep and went for another bold strategy call right at the end there and decided to just go for the slick tyre and we just started to get faster and faster.”
Fuller also believes more time was on the table and he could have improved his grid slot further, had the session not concluded.
“Unfortunately the chequered flag came out because there was a lot more time on the table for us there, but regardless I’m pleased we’re going to be in the fight tomorrow.”
With relatively little recent experience of race starts, the ex-Team.HARD racer is aiming to stay with his rivals throughout the double-header tomorrow, and will start the reverse grid contest from fifth.
“Ideally I want to get in front tomorrow and drive away with it, but realistically we’ve got to just play the long game. The guys in front of us have been racing regularly in the three years I’ve been away, if we can stay with them and push as hard as we did at the end there, I think we’ll be okay.”