The car was under the awning, as usual however, as I walked around the corner to see it; the bonnet was mangled, it turns out that between when I saw the car on Tuesday and that night, during the car shake down, the bonnet had flipped open due to the bonnet latches shearing off and the bonnet had flipped up.
Denting the bonnet in multiple places, it flipped up at low speed therefore not smashing the windscreen or hitting the roof. Fortunately for us.
Anyway, the Friday test day held six half hour sessions. The day started out wet and got dryer, the lap was very undulating, however the circuit was amazing to drive. The lap times came down each lap that I did. In the fifth session I did a personal best time of a 1.47 minute, before putting a wheel on the grass before gooseneck sending me into a spin. Heading backwards towards the wall, dragging the front bumper and splitter off. Then hitting the tyre wall backwards followed by sideways damaging the rear end with the heavier impact.
Which put an end to the day.
The lads got the car fixed on the Friday night ready for qualifying on the Saturday morning. The car ran like a dream. It was a dry qualifying, but due to hesitating up where I went off the day before, I was off the pace by around 3 seconds.
Race one was very tough, it was held in dreadful conditions, the heavy rain created a very slippery surface, therefore allowing the more experienced drivers to excel in the worsening conditions. We got to the second lap where one of the Cooper S cars on the first grid went off causing a red flag, which sent us back to the grid for a restart. We had a 10 second delay between the Cooper S class start and the start of the Open class. There wasn’t a lot of action in this race for me as the task was to keep the car on the circuit and get the points required to put me currently 5th in the championship after finishing 5th in the first race.
The second race held a lot more action as the heavens continued to open. The track had become an absolute river across several parts of the circuit. The cars were aquaplaning throughout the lap. The worst place was across the start finish straight, where it was waterlogged. They held our race for 15 minutes while they assessed whether the track was safe to let our class run, as we run on a semi slick. There were larger risks and fears for our class especially. However, they let us run. But due to being the last race of the weekend, we ran a reverse grid and for the third time this year I was drawn on pole. I got away well and due to the fact that I was starting on the inside and not on the racing line; where all the standing water was, after getting away well initially I hit the puddles and got wheel spin in second gear. Letting three others come past before the first corner, as I was off line into the first corner, through deeper standing water. After a few laps the leading two in the class had a coming together, through the standing water on the start finish straight that took them both off. As they touched before the first corner sending the car on the inside into the wall ripping off the whole front near corner of the car. Allowing me to finish 4th and gaining valuable points before Snetterton, and the last round of the championship. We currently lie 5th in the championship less than ten points behind, 4th in the championship.
We therefore wanted to be prepared for the final round at Snetterton, so we went on Tuesday afternoon and did a few laps, improving my confidence and pace with every lap. The whole team are looking forward to this event as it is our home event, which should also suit our cars very well. Snetterton is on the 29th and 30th of October. By Chloe Hewitt