NIK Hough has finished the Series X3 NSW Championship inside the top three following strong results across the final round at Wakefield over the weekend.
The Bathurst driver didn’t get the result he wanted in Sunday’s endurance finale thanks to a mechanical issue but top five finishes over the opening pair of races ensured he’d end the year in third place.
Hough entered the weekend sitting fourth in the championship but with second-placed Emily Duggan away at the 8 Hours of Philippines he had a great opportunity to climb the standings.
Following a fifth and third over the opening two races Hough was in prime position to finish in second in the endurance event coming into the final pit stop.
Unfortunately a blown head gasket put him back a lap down and into 12th place.
Had Hough seen out the final 10 minutes of the 1.5 hour race without incident then he would have stayed ahead of David Lo-Iacono in the race for the championship’s second spot.
“We were really close to catching the leader. Ten more minutes and we would’ve been on the podium,” Hough said.
“It was a great race for one hour and 20 minutes. It’s just a pity we couldn’t see it out.
“After we missed one round this season we set a new goal to try and finish into the top three and that’s what we managed to do, so I’m still happy with the result.”
Matt Stockwell (972) won the championship ahead of Lo-Iacono (822).
Hough finished the season with 796 points to jump ahead of Duggan (732).
The weekend of racing started out in shaky fashion for Hough when the wet weather wreaked havoc on his tyres.
“We really struggled in qualifying because the wax compund on the tyres just wouldn’t wear down so it was hard to keep the car on track,” Hough said
“I think I set a personal record for the amount of offs I’ve had at the track. Considering all the troubles we were having I was happy to qualify in ninth.”
The wet weather continued into race one but the Bathurst driver was still able to take his car up to fifth.
Then on Sunday, on a drying track, Hough’s Excel appreciated the change in conditions and it assisted in bringing him up to third.
After we missed one round this season we set a new goal to try and finish into the top three and that’s what we managed to do, so I’m still happy with the result.Nik Hough
Bathurst drivers featured prominently in the final round of the series.
Father-son combination Phil and Brett McFarland climbed steadily through the standing across the weekend to finish in eighth for the endurance finale.
Michael Golding finished as high as sixth.