A win and a second place from an FIA World Touring Car Championship race weekend is always a fantastic result.
But when you make big gains on your championship rival, during your team’s big homecoming, the success is all the sweeter!
With a mammoth haul of 45 points from the action in Sonoma I have eliminated the gap between myself and 2011 WTCC champion Yvan Muller.
Located in the rolling hills of the Californian wine country, the raceway is a wonderful undulating circuit and home to NASCAR, Indycar and now WTCC races following the series’ inaugural trip to the USA.
Starting race one behind my Chevrolet team-mates in fourth, I knew I had to be on top form to get a strong result.
But with Alain Menu and SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini making contact at the start I was able to overtake both drivers in the space of just a few laps.
I then battled Muller for the remainder of the race, taking second place on the podium.
This made me all the more determined for the next race, but from seventh on the reverse grid I knew I had some work to do.
Immediately as the lights went out I started making my way past the cars ahead. By the end of the first lap I had climbed to fourth.
I continued my progress through the field and by lap nine I was the race leader!
My hard work didn’t end there: a determined Norbert Michelisz was on the charge.
I had to push on and use some of my defensive driving skills to hold him at bay. As we crossed the finish line my Chevrolet Cruze led the Hungarian by a margin of only 0.32 seconds, a bit too close for comfort!
But with six races remaining in the WTCC season Yvan and I are now tied in the standings.
With a couple of races I really savour coming up, the momentum is on my side: I want to get my hands on that drivers’ championship trophy.
I’ll be back with an update before we fly to Japan in a few weeks’ time.