WINTERLEY racer Chris Stones stuttered to a fifth-place finish in the third round of the European Classic Ford Championship after changes to the track in Belgium.
After a strong start to his bid to recapture the title he won in 2003 with second and third place finishes in Dijon, France, and Hockenheim, Germany, the 43-year-old was confident of a good showing at Zolder.
The BT engineer even passed up the chance of free practice time on one of his favourite tracks as he felt sure he knew the course. But he was in for a shock.
Chris said: 'It was pouring down and I hadn't bothered with the practice day as I was used to the circuit.
'But what I didn't know was that they had changed the track a little, so those who did practice had a slight advantage. However, I soon learnt the changes in the track, and ended up in fourth on the grid. It was a very hectic and competitive race, and I finished a slightly under-par fifth.
'I'm not too unhappy because it was a close race, although some back-mark-ers had messed up some of the front-runners by not keeping out of the way. Still, the season has a way to go.'
Chris will next be in action in his Van Diemen RF85 in the fourth round at Nurburgring, Germany, on July 14-16. There are seven rounds in total.