COMTEC's DAN CLARKE remains upbeat despite suffering another weekend of frustration in the UK Formula Ford Championship Rounds 10 and 11 at Rockingham last weekend.
Shunts through no fault of his own in both races prevented him from finishing either, but he continues to display enough promise in overcoming obstacles to suggest great things could very well be around the corner.
Having initially qualified in 5th position ahead of both his team-mates Tom Gaymor and Oliver Jarvis in a very tight session on the Saturday, he made a good start and as the leading cars bunched around the inside of the first hairpin, Clarke tried a bold manoeuvre to overtake on the outside.
However, this ultimately proved to be his undoing as Tom Kimber-Smith in the JLR attempted a similar move and forced Clarke so wide he had to take evasive action and was forced to turn back on himself and start from the rear of the pack, back in 28th place.
Kimber-Smith controversially rejoined the race in 2nd (and eventually drove to victory) having driven along the Oval, missing out on a section of the track. He was not penalised, which caused some friction in the pit lane.
Back on the track, Clarke displayed amazing verve and racing prowess to fight his way 10 places up to 18th, but following a red flag incident elsewhere on the track, he was demoted back to 24th. He soon regained his momentum on the restart, cutting through the pack and incredibly rising up to 7th place.
But disaster struck when James Walker turned into him on a bend, making the car spin. Clarke's wheel got snagged, and he was forced to retire. He took some solace after recording the 2nd fastest lap of the race, however, achieved despite driving through heavy traffic.
The second race again ended in disappointment, when after just one lap, as Clarke was overtaking team-mate Gaymor on the inside coming into the first bend, Nigel Redwood in the MDR careered into both cars, first forcing Clarke into a pit stop with a puncture, but ultimately damaging the drive shaft so badly he was forced to retire. Redwood held up his hand afterwards to admit he made a bad error of judgement.
Despite his misfortune, Clarke refused to blame others. He said: "Ultimately, if I had not made the error in the first race, allowing Kimber-Smith to take my line, things would have turned out differently. I know the key lies in qualifying in the first three or four, because I have the speed and the confidence to win from there. I have to bide my time, concentrate and be patient. It will come, I have absolute faith."