This round would see her Mini run by the Eurotech BTCC team which she hoped would give her an extra boost in her quest to finish in the championship top ten.
Friday testing was very wet but the forecast for the rest of the weekend was for dry weather which would limit the usefulness of the sessions. Snetterton is a circuit that Jo hasn’t raced on very much before though and so any extra track time was useful.
When it came to qualifying on Saturday, the weather was now dry although the track was still wet as the session started. Initially on the wet track, Jo was an excellent fourth fastest but as the track dried out, the car didn’t seem to have the pace leaving her in a frustrated sixteenth. It seemed like the car might be down on power although there was nothing obvious wrong with it.
The first race was on Saturday afternoon and with bright, warm sunshine now baking down on Snetterton, the surface was very much dry. Jo got a good start initially but soon found the pack pulling away from her and there seemed to be nothing she could do to respond. There was definitely a problem but all Jo could do for now was to go as fast as she could to the finish. This left her in fifteenth, not good for her aim of remaining in the championship top ten. Jo was understandably not happy with her day;
“It’s been a frustrating day, we were down on power. Hopefully we can rectify the problem overnight and have a better day tomorrow.”
The team worked on her car overnight and a delay in the start of racing due to fog on Sunday morning gave them a bit longer to sort it out. As the lights went out things seemed better initially and Jo passed two cars on the first lap. But as the race went on, the car seemed to lose power once again dropping her back to fifteenth once again.
There wasn’t much time before race three and so the team didn’t have much chance to do anything to the car but they did what they could to try and get it working correctly.
Things seemed to be much improved this time with Jo having an excellent first lap putting her ahead of several other cars and only just off the top ten. Everyone in the team had their fingers crossed she could have a positive end to her season. Sadly it wasn’t to be and the car dropped away from the rest of the field once again although a rival spun and lost time in the closing stages giving Jo fourteenth, her best result of the weekend but not where she had hoped to finish if she’d had a car at full strength.
“It’s been a Frustrating day again, I was still suffering running problems with Phoenix [her car]”
She commented after the race.
“I finished 11th in the Championship, I’m gutted I just dropped out of the top ten after a bad final round but I’m still amazed that I’ve even managed to do a whole season, I am so lucky and grateful to be able to race at all with the very limited resources I’ve had. A massive thank you to all my sponsors who made it possible Halliwell Jones MINI, Dale Racing Ltd, Polleysport.com, DudmanGroup, ICD, E-spares, Corbeau Seats UK, Kick Motorsport, Linda Keen, and Eurotech Racing. Also thanks to everyone who bought a roof square and supported me, Mini Challenge UK for running such a great championship and to all my fellow drivers for being awesome to hang out with and race against. Bring on 2016, I will be back!” By Marc Waller