Abbie Eaton battles in the Mazda Autumn cup


Abbie Eaton (photo by Marc Waller)With the main Mazda Mx5 racing season already over, Abbie headed to Donington park to race in the BRSCC Mazda Mx5 Autumn Challenge,

a one off event of two races for both Mk3 and Mk1 Mx5s. Usually in the main championship the cars run unmodified from the road car (other than the obvious safety modifications.) but for this event modifications were allowed. Abbie’s budget for the season didn’t allow for any modifications so she was running as standard but some of the cars chose to run various modfications which are planned for the 2014 that provide an increase in horsepower and so performance.

Abbie was feeling confident going into the weekend after getting her first Mazda Mx5 win at her previous race meeting and this confidence was proved to be justified when she took second place behind Mike Comber in a modified MX5. She then repeated this in the qualifying session to start in second place for race one.

As the lights went out she got a great start and despite her horsepower disadvantage she was straight on the tail of Mike Coomber and despite being down on power she managed to stay on his tail all around the first lap. As they headed towards the Gp loop at the end of the lap, Mike succumbed to the pressure and spun off rejoining in 5th place. Abbie had the lead and was pulling away from the new second place car of Justin Newham. By the end of lap two it was over 5 seconds and still growing.

Abbie Eaton (photo by Marc Waller)Abbie Eaton (photo by Marc Waller)Abbie Eaton (photo by Marc Waller)However Mike Coomber was rapidly flying back towards the front and as the race edged past the halfway point he was on the tail of Abbie’s car. Despite her car disadvantage, Abbie wasn’t going to make it easy for Mike and she held him off for a whole lap before he finally got past on the main straight. Still Abbie wasn’t giving up and she fought back during the next lap. Mike could pull away on the straights but Abbie could reel him back in on the brakes and through the corners. Inevitably though, his straight line speed advantage gradually edged him away from Abbie. She realised that the battle was over and settled for second place.

For the second race the grid was reversed for the Mk3 cars ahead of the Mk1’s who were also reversed. This put Abbie seventh of the Mk3’s instead of 2nd. But as the race got underway it made little difference as she was straight into second place at the first corner. This time there was no mistake from Mike and he edged away. As there was little point in stressing the car for a futile attempt at getting in front, Abbie settled into holding second place which she did with ease, crossing the line 22 seconds ahead of third place Justin Newham.

Abbie was very happy with how the race meeting had gone;

“I Just want to say a big thank you to my Dad and Chris for another good weekend and also Ray Worley for help in a hectic last minute diff change before race 1! Also a huge thank you to one of my sponsors Mike Oughtred for supporting this weekend.”

There’s a possibility of some winter series races but Abbie now looks forward to 2014 where she hopes to get the sponsorship to return to the Mx5 championship to go for the title. by Marc Waller

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