Laura Tillet and her Team Hard Volkswagen Golf were back in action in the Volkswagen Racing Cup last weekend as the championship headed to Rockingham in its usual British GT championship supporting role.
She had made a good debut at Oulton Park but didn’t have as good results as she’d hoped after off track excursions (Not of her own making!) This time she hoped to make progress and push up the grid.
She qualified in seventeenth on the grid, further down than she might have hoped but she had only missed out on the top ten by 0.7 seconds so with small gains she could get some great results.
Things looked positive in race one as she got a great start but as the field went into the first real corner at the Deene Hairpin she found herself pushed out wide and she dropped to the very back of the twenty nine car field. But not someone to give up, Laura pushed hard and she not only caught the pack but made up places in the following laps to move up to twenty second. A lap later she was in twenty first and heading for the top twenty. Sadly there wasn’t enough time for any further progress and she crossed the line in twenty first place just behind the twentieth placed car.
The next round on Sunday morning was after a heavy shower of rain. It had stopped by the time the race got underway and the track was wet but drying. From her twenty first place starting slot, she made up a place on the opening lap only to run wide and drop back to twenty fourth. She fought back once again and climbed back up to twenty first but again ran out of time to progress any further. Her best lap times put her well up the field but again incidents had cost her positions.
Onto the third and last race of the weekend, perhaps third time lucky? This time the grid was decided on best laps from the previous race so she started up in fifteenth. An initial good start then went wrong as the pack jostled down into the Deene hairpin she wasn’t able to take the ideal line and found herself down in twenty fourth. So yet again she set about fighting her way back up the field. She progressed quicker this time and was soon up to eighteenth.
Maybe a top ten was possible? Sadly not as her charge was halted by a safety car scrambled for an incident elsewhere on track. This left her with no time for further progress and eighteenth was to be her best finish of the weekend.
Not where she wanted to be and not where her pace showed she could be.
On the positive side, Laura had shown she now has the pace to run in the front half of the field and with some setup tweeks she should be in the leading group at the next rounds.
The championship supports British GT once again next time as it heads to Silverstone on the 30th and 31st May. By Marc Waller