Jo Polley aims for more mighty mini success at a Sunny Castle Combe

Jo flew to third in qualifying despite technical issues (Photo by Marc Waller)Jo Polley had her third Super Mighty Mini’s meeting of the year on Bank Holiday Monday at Castle Combe in Wiltshire.

With a visit to the podium at both previous meetings including a win at Silverstone, Jo had her sights on the podium once again for this meeting. It would be a busy day with qualifying and two races all to fit in. The day was the warmest of the year so far with bright sunshine all day and temperatures climbing towards 30°c.

Qualifying was early on in the day, starting at 8:30am, they would be the first cars on track of the day. Jo arrived early at the circuit and lined up in the assembly area ready to go out. As 8:30am came, the cars headed out on to the track to qualify. It soon became clear Jo’s car wasn’t quite right and appeared to have a bit of a misfire. Not what you need at Castle Combe where power is important. Despite this Jo still qualified in an impressive third place on the second row of the grid. With the closeness of the racing, this would be a perfect starting place to launch a challenge on the two rivals ahead.

The team immediately started work on the car as soon as it arrived at the team awning. They had already worked out what would solve the issue and would now work flat out to solve it. By time the cars were called to the assembly area at 1pm, the car was ready to go.

Jo lined up in position three in the pre-race holding area and then headed for shade to try and keep cool before the race. But there wasn’t long before the cars headed for the grid. The cars had their usual green flag lap before lining up to wait for the lights. It was a longer hold than usual and Jo went to go, anticipating the lights. When they didn’t change she had to dip the clutch again to avoid a jump start only for the lights to then go out.

Despite this, she only lost a couple of places off the line and was right on the tail of the leading pack as they headed up to the first corner. She then fought her way up to third over the next few laps with a couple of near misses! First one was when I rivals engine blew in front of her and then secondly another rival car dropped it’s rear window out straight into Jo’s car. Fortunately the damage was limited to some minor cosmetic marks.

As the Super Mighty Minis started to lap the back markers, initially it benefited Jo and she caught right up to the first two but it also allowed the cars behind her to gain too. Some more back markers then held Jo up and she dropped to fourth. There were now no more laps left and she crossed the line in this position. She was happy with this though as it was a strong points finish and she had scored more than her current championship rivals.

The final race was towards the end of the day with Jo starting sixth on the reverse grid and she was determined to make a better start. She got away from the line better but then got boxed in by some slower starting cars dropping her back down. But then as she headed into the first big braking zone she did a “Daniel Riccardo” move and sent it down the inside, coming out of the corner in second. This became third towards the end of the lap and the start of a fierce battle began. In the laps that followed, Jo held every position from second to sixth and the positions often changed several times each lap. As the race reached it’s final laps she was fourth but she was determined to pick up a trophy in three race meetings out of three so far and she made a great move to take third place. Once again towards the end of the race, the mighty mini back markers came into play. This allowed the top two to get away from her but she was able to pull out a big gap from the cars behind and crossed the line in a comfortable third to win yet another trophy. Perhaps more importantly she had taken the championship lead.

The team work to fix the car after technical issues in qualifying (Photo by Marc Waller) Jo Battles in the thick of things in race one (Photo by Marc Waller) Jo takes third in race two (Photo by Marc Waller) On the podium (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

“That was a tough race” said Jo afterwards “But lots of fun!”

“It’s been awesome racing at Castle Combe! I’m happy to have got

another podium with third in race two and apparently I am leading the Championship! A big thank you to Scott Kendall, Mark Jones and Philip Young for a mega car! I’m looking forward to Donington, I want to make this championship mine!” By Marc Waller

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