EXCLUSIVE: Alex Preston suffers cruel double blow in Wales
Exclusive by Rob Stevens • Published 22 May 2012 10:06 0 Comments
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Alex Preston in 'Bumblebee' his Mazda MX5 Championship car
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ALEX Preston's challenge for the Mazda MX5 Championship suffered a cruel double blow during rounds five and six at Anglesey Circuit earlier this month.
After the teen driving sensation produced his 'best qualifying yet' he was twice knocked off the Welsh circuit whilst competing for a podium finish.
And despite a faulty engine the Windsor based petrol head showed excellent composure and determination to make the 260 mile return journey with two fifth place finishes.
Despite dropping to fifth in the Championship with a total of 570 points, 34 behind Blendini team mate and championship leader Tom Roche, Preston extended his run of top five finishes to six.
In an exclusive interview with the Observer, the former Windsor Boys' pupil admitted: "I've got a mixed reaction, all in all I was disappointed on the day because I qualified in third.
"Qualifying was great, my best yet, but on the first corner of the first race (round five) I was shoved off the track going around the outside and fell down to eighth of ninth.
"But then I had a great battle with Richard Lambert. We were constantly swapping positions every lap and I had to be extremely defensive to hold fifth once I overtook him at the beginning of the last lap."
He continued: "The same driver knocked me off again on the same corner midway through the second race (round six) but I managed to finish in fifth place
"I should've got better results because the pace of the car was brilliant, just half a second slower than Tom Roche's lap times."
Preston is now hoping his team of mechanics can diagnose 'Bumblebee's' engine failure before the trip to Cadwell Park for rounds seven and eight on June 2-3.
He added: "The engine wasn't performing as it was at the start of the week, people were catching me really quickly on the straights.
"It's maybe nothing to do with the incidents but it will be checked and if there's nothing wrong with it they'll put it on a dynamometer to test the amount of horse power it's producing."
Preston declared Anglesey to be one of the most physically challenging tracks he has driven in his short career to date although he is set for another new challenge at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire next month.
"I haven't driven there before, Preston went on, it was designed and built for bikes so it'll be difficult to overtake because of the narrowness of the course."
MAIDENHEAD'S Jade Edwards did not compete at Anglesey and slipped down to 34th in the Championship with a total of 352 points. The feisty female racing instructor finished fifth and third in the opening rounds at Silverstone before crossing the line eighth and 12th after a gearbox failure at Snetterton.
** Track Alex Preston and Jade Edwards' progress throughout the Mazda MX5 Championship with the Observer on Twitter @Observer_sports **