A pair of finishes just outside the top 5 and the fastest lap is what Sydney based British driver Cam Walton walked away with after his debut Bathurst appearance in the 38 car Toyota 86 Racing Series.
Walton was just glad to finish the weekend with a straight car and a bag of points after a challenging weekend weather-wise as he was forced to learn the circuit in extremely inclement conditions.
“It was pretty tricky, they sort of threw us into the deep end on Thursday and Friday it was incredibly wet,” Walton explained.
Walton took a sensible approach over the early course of the weekend, which paid dividends later in the weekend when he challenged for a podium place in Races 2 and 3.
“It’s difficult to learn a track when you’ve never been here in the dry and it is soaking wet. Definitely, I took it a bit conservative during the practice sessions and I took a bit of time to build up to it, there were a lot of people going off and it’s easy to put it in the wall, finishing your weekend or season. It was the sensible thing to do.”
Walton puts his success at the circuit down to feeling comfortable as soon as his 86 hit the track.
“It’s one of those rare occasions where you come to a track and everything just flows, everything feels right, feels natural and you just pick it up straight away,” Walton said.
“I know there is definitely time out there, yesterday was quick, but we watched it back and I think there are definitely places, it just needs a little more commitment, which comes with more seat time, another five laps and we’d be there.”
Looking ahead to the final round on the streets of Newcastle, Walton sits comfortably in the top five and is just wanting to have fun after an unlucky failure at Sandown dented his title hopes.
“I think we’re sitting fifth at the moment and we have a bit of a gap behind us now coming out of this weekend,” Walton explained.
“It’s a shame really because we were fighting for the championship until we got to Sandown until the diff blew up while we were leading the race, but we’re enjoying it from now on.”
Walton is confident he will be a frontrunner after his performances in Townsville earlier in the season.
“Townsville has been the only place that we have qualified outside of the top 10 this year, but by the end of Race 3 we were faster than the leaders and working our way through the top 10,” said Walton.
“I think we’ve normally picked up the street circuit technique a bit more as the season has gone on, I’m looking forward to going back to one with a little more experience.”
The next round for Walton is the Toyota 86 Series finale on the streets of Newcastle on November 23-25.
Cam would like to thank all his supporters for their continued assistance, including:
•The Sign Centre
•Old Skool Restos
•Greenthumb Lawn Treatment Service
Toyota 86 Racing Series 2018 Schedule:
•Races 1, 2 & 3 WD-40 Phillip Island 500 April 20-22
•Races 4, 5 & 6 Watpac Townsville 400 July 6-8
•Races 7, 8 & 9 The Bend SuperSprint August 24-26
•Races 10, 11 & 12 Sandown September 14-16
•Races 13, 14 & 15 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 October 4-7
•Races 16, 17 & 18 Coates Hire Newcastle 500 November 23-25