Sophia had made the Rookie podium at Brands but had struck trouble in the second race. Esmee had a hard weekend ended with a huge shunt on paddock hill which seriously damaged her car.
Esmee’s car was so bad that it wasn’t able to be repaired in time for Donington and so she raced in a converted Ginetta G40 from the senior GT5 championship. These cars have a number of differences and this caused her problems all weekend.
Sophia on the other hand was comfortable in her usual car and showed her potential setting fastest time overall in Friday testing an amazing feat for someone in only her second car racing weekend when racing against some young drivers who have already raced for at least a season longer.
In Qualifying she wasn’t able to get quite so far up the timesheets but still qualified an excellent seventh overall, second on the Rookie class. Esmee, on the other hand, saw her problems continue with only 70% throttle avaialable and she ended up at the back of the field.
At the start of race one Sophia made contact with a rival and slipped down the order. There was some damage to her car but this didn’t slow her down. Charging through the field she recovered to eighth place and third in the rookie class. Esmee too had fought as hard as she could but she was still having problems due to the temporary car having engine issues and she took eighteenth.
Sophia battled hard again in race two on Sunday, this time not needing to fight back through the field she was on the tail of the leading pack for the whole race. She picked several cars off as the race progressed and was ready to pounce should the hard fighting front runners take each other out. She got as high as fifth and the rookie class lead but dropped back to eighth as she started the final lap when a backmarker with a loose bonnet got in her way. This gave her second in the rookie cup and meant another podium appearance. She also set the fastest lap of the race suggesting she had the potential to win had she got the the front.
Sadly things didn’t go Esmee’s way and she could only take twenty second this time. The team had tried changing her engine over night but it hadn’t helped She hopes to have a car back to full strength for the next rounds at Thruxton.
Sophia’s next aim is to take a rookie win but she has her sights on the overall win and with the pace she’s shown this weekend it’s likely to happen sooner rather then later.
If Esmee can get a car that works 100% for the next rounds she’ll be hoping to make up for the setbacks and push towards the front of the field.
You’ll be able to read about their Thruxton weekend here on GR or you could come and support them in person at the Hampshire circuit. Tickets are available on the website. At least one race will also be shown on ITV4. By Marc Waller