Still no luck for Laura Tillet at Silverstone

Laura Tillet

 Laura TilletLaura Tillet headed to Silverstone on the 30th and 31st May for the latest rounds of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing cup. She had been hoping for better luck after things hadn’t gone her way at the first two meetings.

She was in a new car for this weekend and hoped that maybe this would provide the change of fortunes she needed.

Sadly things went wrong pretty quickly when a failure of the Piston rings in her engine caused the engine to lose all power. This left her languishing down on the back row of the grid for race one.

But before she could race her engine needed replacement. Fortunately Team Hard had a replacement which was fitted overnight enabling her to race on Sunday. There had been a lot of overnight rain and although it stopped in time for the race, the track was still soaked as the drivers headed to the grid. This meant that there would be two formation laps so the drivers could get used to the conditions as the circuit had been dry in qualifying.

Sadly things went wrong for Laura once again as the engine still seemed to have no power. She headed for the pits where the team discovered the breather pipe had come lose. They quickly reattached it to solve the problem but she would have to start from the pit lane. Even worse than that there were two rivals that had time penalties and she would have to wait for them to be waved off before she could leave the pit lane. By the time she finally powered into the race she was already 20 seconds behind the pack. She’d have an incredibly difficult task to even catch up, never mind make up places. But she charged off as fast as possible and within a couple of laps she was catching and passing other drivers. With the event being held on the Silverstone GP circuit there was only time for laps on the long track so there wasn’t long to make progress. Her best lap of 2:45.869 was good enough to make the top 15 but there just wasn’t enough time to catch them all. She crossed the line in 21st place. This then became 20th when one of her team mates, Michael Epps was disqualified post race.
Laura described how things had gone for her so far;

 Laura Tillet  Laura Tillet  Laura Tillet  Laura Tillet

“It’s definitely not been the weekend we hoped for”, said the Kent racer, “Everything went wrong from the start. When the piston rings went in qualifying, there was no compression in the engine and with only four or five laps possible in the session I just came in – there was no point being out there and getting in everyone’s way.

“Then, when I went out for the warm-up lap in the first race, the breather had fallen off the new engine. I had to come into the pits for that to be sorted so we started from the pit lane, but then I couldn’t go until the two other people at the back of the grid had their penalties. It wasn’t ideal, but at least I managed to come through pretty well. When it’s like that, you have to stay positive!”

Her finishing position from race one would mean she could start there for race two and so she’d have the chance to progress further. Straight from that start she looked to pass rivals and was 17th by the end of the first lap. But with 18th place behind her still, he found a way back past on lap two. But in the next few laps she gained two more positions and found herself in 16th with two more laps to go. By now the next cars in the field were quite a bit further forward and there wouldn’t be time to catch them. She completed the final two laps and crossed the line in 16th scoring some much needed (and deserved) championship points.

Unfortunately her issues earlier in the weekend means she drops to nineteenth in the championship but she is just eight points behind fifteenth and 24 from breaking into the top 12 in this her first season in front wheel drive “tintop” racing.
The nexts round take place at Spa on the 10th and 11th of July. Laura is keen to race at the Belgian circuit;

“I’ve only ever done a couple of laps at Spa when I was working with Caterham, so I’m really looking forward to racing there for the first time”, added Laura, “Hopefully we can kick-start our season and get things moving in the right direction.”

 By Marc Waller 


Written by