Solid Start for Franklin at Rockingham Motor Speedway

Sarah Franklin (photo by Marc Waller)Kettering racer, Sarah Franklin got her Michelin Clio Cup Championship off to a solid start at Rockingham Motor Speedway at the weekend, despite some drama leading up to the event.

In testing just two weeks before the first event, Sarah’s own Clio blew an engine so Westbourne Motorsport came to the rescue, signing Sarah to drive their championship winning car for the Rockingham round.

With Rockingham being Sarah’s home race, she had lots of local support but the weekend didn’t get off to a great start. Still getting used to a new car and with the track conditions being wet and very slippery, Sarah only qualified 6th in what was going to be an extremely competitive field, several drivers being returnees from last years’ championship, including race winners.

Race One went well with Sarah getting a good start and managing to make up 2 places fairly swiftly. She then put in some solid consistently quick laps but just couldn’t quite get onto the tail of the 3rd place driver, Nic Harrison so had to settle for 4th.

Race Two was a little tougher. As Sarah went out on the formation lap, the car went into limp mode and would only rev to 3000 revs! She limped the car back into the pits whilst the rest of the field were doing their green flap lap. The team managed to clear the issue and so Sarah was able to star the race – but from the pit lane and with no lap to warm up her tyres and brakes. Frustratingly, this left an uphill struggle to make any ground on the rest of the field who had disappeared into the distance before Sarah was even released from the pit lane and, with a strong headwind coming down the start finish straight, and getting no slipstreaming, there was little Sarah could do. Nevertheless, with some consistently good lap times, she managed to come across the line in 7th place.

Race Three started well as Sarah got off the line better than those around her. She was in a great battle of 4 cars all vying for 3rd place. Then, on lap 4, as she overtook another car, he slammed his car into the side of hers and, from that moment on, there were issues with the steering which left Sarah having to nurse the car back and try to keep enough pace not to be overtaken by cars behind her. She finished in 6th.

Sarah commented “It’s been a difficult weekend in some respects but a good one in others. The guys at Westbourne have been fabulous and, if it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have got out this weekend. We showed some good pace in the car and have things we know we need to work on for the next round. I also need to qualify better!”

Sarah therefore left Rockingham 5th in the Championship and looking forward to the next round at Thruxton, the fastest circuit in the Country!

Sarah Franklin (photo by Marc Waller) Sarah Franklin (photo by Marc Waller) Sarah Franklin (photo by Marc Waller)


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