Lydia Walmsley battles at Brands to get a positive end to her season

Lydia prepares to go out on track (Photo by Marc Waller)After an eventful and sometimes tough first full season in the Junior Saloon Car Championship (JSCC), Lydia Walmsley headed to Brands Hatch with her Bright Green Citroen Saxo for the final rounds of the season.

After a very strong start to the season at Silverstone, she’d had a run of bad luck including a huge crash at Knockhill. She was determined to finish the season on a high at the kent circuit but would her luck allow her to?

Friday testing initially seemed to be going well during the first session with some competitive times beings set but bad luck struck once again in the second and final session. A hose blew off the car’s cooling sysyem, dumping the fluid onto the tyres. Lydia was sent flying off the track and through the paddock hill gravel at around 70mph. It took all her skill and reaction times to regain control and stay out of the tyre wall.

When Qualifying started on Saturday, Lydia's attempts at setting a fast lap were stopped by a couple of cars going off in the gravel. Fortunately, she eventually got a clear lap and moved to an excellent sixth. However, the track was getting quicker all the time so it was important for her to keep lapping. But disaster struck once again when a fuel issue meant she had to head to the pits. It wasn't possible to fix the car quickly enough to rejoin the session and with times continuing to tumble, Lydia dropped to twelfth on the grid.

As the lights went out for race one, Lydia made a great start, taking three cars off the line. She ended up battling Liam Thompson for ninth place, he finally edged in front in the closing stages but Lydia still finished in a strong top ten position.

Lydia's great starts continued for race two as she passed two cars off the line. After a couple of laps, she then made a move into Druids to move up a further place. She was now hunting down fifth place and things were looking very strong. But on the next lap, disaster struck as she rounded paddock hill bend. Someone tapped her car from behind. This sent her sliding across the track towards the inside of the corner and the armco barriers. For the second time in the weekend, Lydia's car control saved the day and she rejoined a bit behind the main pack. In the following laps, she made up the eight second gap and passed a car into paddock for tenth. She then passed a further car into Druids putting her ninth. Unfortunately, there was now no more time left in the race and she crossed the line in ninth place.

She had two strong drives, especially with the recovery drive back into the top ten for race two but it hasn't been quite what Lydia had hoped.

Heading up the hill (Photo by Marc Waller) Rounding Druids (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

"It's been a good weekend, but I wsih I could have got the results that my pace showed were possible. The fuel issue ruined my chance of a good grid slot in qualifying but thanks to the team for solving it so quickly. I was then hoping for a strong result in race two but getting hit in paddock put a stop to that. If the race had been a bit longer there might have been time to climb back up the field but I just ran out of laps."

"It's been a good season, despite some bad luck and hopefully I've shown what I can do even when the results haven't been what we'd hoped. Thanks to my family and sponsors for all their support this year and I'm hoping to be back out racing in 2017." By Marc Waller

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