Another trophy in GT cup for Abbie after her team save the day

Abbie gaining places at the start of race one (photo by Marc Waller)

Abbie gaining places at the start of race one (photo by Marc Waller)After her success at Silverstone, Abbie wasn’t sure if she’d be out again but fortunately her sponsors came to her aid once again and she was able to enter the next rounds at Snetterton.

She managed to get some testing in on Friday, running the car at the track for the first time.

As usual, her team mate Michael Symons would drive the car in the longer 50 minute race on Saturday before Abbie gets to take over the car for the two shorter races on Sunday.

But it looked like Abbie’s weekend would be over before it began when Michael had a coming together with another car which left the Geoff Steel Racing BMW M3 with heavy damage to the passenger side. It seemed like there was no chance that she be able to race.

But the Geoff Steel Boys never give up and they worked on the car until the early hours with some materials supplied by TJ Motorsport. By the time Abbie arrived at the track on Sunday Morning the car looked almost as good as new. There was still a lot of damage that could be seen and the door was now held together with rivets and metal plate but Abbie now had a race able car.

Qualifying would be Abbie’s first chance to test the repaired car and how it was handling. Of course she also needed to try and set a quick time. The session was dry but the weather forecast indicated that the two races later on would both be wet. This was Abbie’s first time on the 300 circuit in fully dry conditions as it had been wet for her Mazda races last season.

Abbie found the car was suffering from understeer as soon as she went out but she decided to stay out familiarising herself with the track as with the short session time she would have missed much of it had she headed back to the pits for adjustments. This left her sixth in class, disappointing but not unexpected given everything that had happened. Abbie was confident of improvements in the races.

Just before race one it had started to rain and with the track gradually getting wetter, Abbie and the team discussed what to do with tyres. They opted for a compromise of worn wets, that way whatever the weather did, Abbie would be okay. Abbie felt confident of improvements in both lap time and position. She got a good start and within a couple of laps she acclimatised to the conditions. The rain was now getting heavier and Abbie found the understeer issues returning. Despite this she took fourth in the GTB class and eleventh overall. A good start and this also meant a better place to start race two from.

This time the track was fully wet from the start and so Abbie’s new wet tyres were the obvious choice. Abbie was feeling much more confident.

She got a great start and immediately got up to eighth. The next cars took a bit longer to pass which let GTB class leader, John Saunders in his Ginetta G50 pull out a gap. Abbie now found herself in sixth overall behind the GTO Aston of Paul Bailey. Despite it being a much faster car, Abbie was all over the back of it in the corners but as soon as the next straight came up the Aston pulled away once more. The class leading Ginetta was only just ahead of the Aston but Abbie was unable to get past the Aston Martin to make a challenge and spent the rest of the race “Yoyo-ing” with the Bailey’s GTO Class car.

Abbie was quick through the corners (photo by Marc Waller) Abbie's repaired car emerges from the garage (photo by Marc Waller) Abbie takes  the flag in race two (photo by Marc Waller) Abbie picks up her trophy (photo by Marc Waller) 




She crossed the line second in class and sixth overall, a great result considering how badly damaged the car was. Abbie also found she was the fourth quickest car overall, showing that if she had been able to get to the class leader, she would have had the pace to challenge him for the win. Abbie was happy though;

“It’s a little frustrating that the class leader was just out of my reach! But all in all 2nd in class and 6th overall was a VERY good result considering the state the car was in on Saturday. Also promising that I was the 4th quickest car overall too…I do love tricky conditions!” She continues

“Once again a big thank you to the GSR team for their continued hard work. My friends and family, my sponsors and in particular Mick & Ellie @ Southern Waste Management and also to Gary, my heart goes out to them after coming all the way back from a gorgeous holiday for a mechanical failure in Qualifying. Also to Guy Sheppard for your support! Having just scraped through to race this round every little really does help and without all of your support I wouldn’t be able to show what I can do.”

“Lets hope I can make Brands Hatch in 3 weeks!” By Marc Waller


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