Brake problems stop Lydia Walmsley from getting a break at the Oulton Mini festival

Lydia waits to go out for qualifying (Photo by Marc Waller)Lydia Walmsley made the long trip up to Cheshire last weekend for the second of MSV’s three Mini festivals this year. This time it was on the tricky but enjoyable Oulton Park circuit.

Walmsley arrived on Friday for some testing but some unexpectedly bad weather saw her running reduced to a minimum. But she was feeling happy and confident ahead of qualifying.

Qualifying was initially going well with a season best fifth place but late on, Walmsley had to avoid a car bouncing off the track at cascades which slowed one of her fast laps at a crucial stage. This allowed a couple of rivals to beat her previous time and pushed her down to seventh. They also had the benefit of a tow along some of Oulton Park’s faster parts as the team mates helped each other. Being a one car team, Walmsley didn’t have that opportunity but she could be happy with seventh.

As race one got underway later on Saturday, Walmsley got a good start but was then passed by two rivals on the run to the first corner. However, she fought straight back to move back into seventh by lap two. She was then catching sixth and the front running pack only for a warning light to come on. It was the ABS light and although not a terminal fault, it causes big problems braking into corners in a car designed to work with it on. Walmsley had suffered the issue previously at both Snetterton and Silverstone and so she was getting good at driving around the issue. Despite this, it was always going to slow her down as she had to brake softly into the hard-braking zones to avoid locking her wheels which would send her off track. The pace lost saw her chances of moving up again lost but she hung onto the back of fifth and sixth, to take seventh.

Her small family team worked hard to fiz the ABS issue before race two but there was very little time to do much but the ABS light went out so they hoped the car was fully functional once more.

Battling for position before her brake issues (Photo by Marc Waller) Rounding the last corner (Photo by Marc Waller) Lydias Morris sponsored Mini(Photo by Marc Waller)




She had her best start of the year as the lights went out and was already alongside sixth place going into the first corner. They braved it out though and she dropped back to seventh. The top seven cars were now nose to tail in a big group as they all fought for position. Things were looking good until the ABS light came on once again on lap three. This once again stopped any chance she had of moving up the order, it’s impossible to out brake someone when your brakes don’t work properly! This left her to finish the second and final race of the day in seventh place.

“It’s been a good weekend at the mini festival, I’ve been happy with my pace but the recurring ABS fault has meant I have been unable to show my true speed. The car will be in the garage to try to sort out the fault. I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch next month. It’s a circuit which I thoroughly enjoy and I can’t wait to be attending another Mini Festival. Thank you so much to my team and my sponsors: Morris Lubricants, Whip Street Motors, Derek Hales New Homes In Norfolk and A&D Motors.” By Marc Waller

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