Laser Tools racing rookie Dexter Patterson believes he had the pace to match Jake Hill in the final British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
Patterson, who comes to the BTCC with only single seater experience, scored his first point in the championship with a P15 in race three.
It was a difficult race for the young driver. After starting 20th, he fought his way up through the order and into the points paying positions. Patterson then spent much of the second half of the race trying to find a way past the Ford Focus of Ollie Jackson along with Jake Hill.
Late in the race, the recovering Tom Ingram and Ash Sutton caught the back of the battle, leading to some dramatic side by side action for the five drivers.
On the penultimate lap of the race, Hill was able to find a way past Jackson and was pulling away from the battle behind when the chequered flag fell.
Patterson believes he had the pace to match Hill and finish further up the field, but couldn’t find a way past Jackson.
“Overall it was really good,” he said. “Obviously we finished P15 so finally some points.
“I think we had the speed to go forward. We were just as quick as Hill, but we had Jackson in the way.
“If we’d managed to pass Jackson, then we would have been able to get to the front pack, but unfortunately not.”
Patterson’s first point wasn’t as simple as sitting behind Jackson, though.
After being caught up in the lap one incident at the front of the field, Ingram and Sutton were both rapidly making their way up through the field. Many of Patterson’s moves were as much defensive as offensive.
“I think a couple were around the outside and that sort of thing, but I had to get stuck in,” he explained.
“The boys I was racing against – Sutton and Hill – these are the experienced guys so it was good fun.
“It was definitely a good way to end the day. It’s been quite hard, especially race one today wasn’t great. Race two, the speed was there and we were trying to move on up through the pack. So P15 was good.”
Patterson’s point means all but four drivers have scored so far this season.