Chloe Hewitts Mini Festival challenge

Chloe waits to go out (Photo by Marc Waller)

Chloe waits to go out (Photo by Marc Waller)Former karter Chloe Hewitt is now racing in the Mini challenge. The most recent rounds were at the Brands Hatch Mini festival. This is her story of the weekend;

So the newly named racing team (Chewitt Racing) hit the track for the second time last weekend (16th and 17th July). We headed down to Brands Hatch on the Thursday evening, ready for the Friday morning test session. We had two half hour sessions, after the two sessions were complete, I was only a second and a half off of the pace. Not bad, not bad!

On Saturday morning we had the frustrating news that we had to get the ECU in the car adjusted as it was running too much power, in conjunction with the 180 hp per ton our class ruling, While I was in briefing the decision was changed and the ECU was left as it was originally but the car was then restricted to only 5000 revs as opposed to 6700. This meant that qualifying was the first time I got to run the car as it was. I couldn’t keep with the Coopers in a straight line, meaning that I qualified 4th from the back out of over 30 cars as I also couldn’t keep my corner speed as fast as the cooper class due to them running slick tyres and us a controlled treaded tyre. Meaning that I was dangerously slow.

After qualifying the decision across the paddock and the organisers was to let me run with full revs, the same as the Friday, but I had to run with 60kg of ballast. To make the power to weight ratio correct.

Race one, I was a lot happier with the feel of the car straight from the off. However due to bunching at the first corner and a little hesitation on my part the coopers flew past me. For the first 15 minutes or so I had to battle my way through the Coopers, again I struggled as they have a higher corner speed, therefore allowing them to drive around the outside of me. On the third lap I had my near side mirror knocked in, so I had no idea where cars were through graham hill bend and Surtees. Once I had gotten past the cooper battle that I was entangled in, I made a mistake through Surtees, with one of the leading cars on my tail, almost losing it and almost ending up on the grass, as he went to the outside meaning that I was taking him with me, (my now blind side).

Race two, got off to a rough start as I was over taken by one car going through paddock but managed to stay a head of the cooper class, until druids that was anyway as bunching left me in their clutches, slipping up the inside in a cooper size gap. However, as we entered lap two at paddock the two leading cars in the open class rolled over in the gravel, on the outside of the corner. Leading to a swift red flag, as the rest of us were sent around to the grid once again. As the restart got under way, I flew off the line, keeping right in the mix of my class, looking for the over taking on the car in front. Although on lap four I was blocked by a slow moving car, allowing the car in front of me through before graham hill bend, and me through after, allowing the coopers to pull the overtake going though Mclaren. As the second placed cooper ran wide I slide up the inside at clearways and due to the higher straight line speed I took to the outside line to stay out of the way for paddock. Due to being told by the series organiser to stay out of their way as they have their own race.

Chloe heads into druids (Photo by Marc Waller) Chloe racing (Photo by Marc Waller)




The first cooper came through no problem, but the second cooper didn’t seem to think that was enough from hitting the rear driver side wheel, and pushing me around until I could no longer save the slide. As an unsighted car behind him then hit the front drivers corner at 80mph before hitting the rear end also, as he then spun out of control. As in avoidance another cooper flew past me hitting the tyre wall, therefore causing a red flag as there was a large amount of debris on track including 4 cars and substantial damage to the tyre wall.

After being checked over by the paramedics, I was given the all clear, and looked forward to getting the car sorted. When I arrived back at the garage car was still up in park ferme. As one of the mechanics said that there was a 90% chance that I wouldn’t be racing in the final race of the weekend. And true that would be, as when we looked deeper into the damage we found that both the front and rear drivers side suspension was bent, the steering arm was broken, the Wheel had snapped, the engine mount was snapped and the deciding factor was the chassis arm was bent and there where multiple spot welds that had been broken, meaning that the scrutineer failed the car even before anything had been taken off of the car to be replaced. Putting an early end to the weekend. Realising that it was pointless hanging about the lads decided to help one of the two cars that had rolled over earlier in the race. Allowing him to get back onto the grid for the final race of the weekend.

So a rough one for us all, loads of potential and lots of coverage, plenty of fans and new faces to see, thank you everyone we’ve now got some work to do and money to find to repair some items.

Written by