Snetterton success for Eurotech but mixed Mini fortunes for Jo Polley

Jo Focused (Photo by Marc Waller)Jo Polley and the Eurotech team arrived at Snetterton in Norfolk last weekend for the next three rounds of the 2017 Mini Challenge JCW class.

With the calendar being very different this year due to the championship now supporting British GT, it hadn’t been long since they last raced here with it being the final rounds of the 2016 season.

As usual Friday was test day and Jo, Jeff and Brett all had positive days with Jo making the biggerst step forward as she found a huge amount of time during the day. All was looking very positive for the weekend.

There would be qualifying and one race on Saturday with a further two races on Sunday.

Saturday dawned dry and sunny and it looked set for a dry qualifying as they waited in the assembly area. But in the space of only a few minutes, a huge rain storm blew in, soaking the track. Fortunately the Eurotech team had wet tyres ready to go and all three cars were changed very quickly before Jo and the others set out to qualify. After only a few minutes, a rival went off triggering a red flag while the incident was cleared. At this stage Jo was in the top ten (unknown to her) but there was time for another run once the incident was cleared. Jo ended up twentieth with Brett in twelfth and Jeff in an excellent third.

After the unexpected downpour the weather returned to dry and sunny and by the time the first race was ready to get under way at the end of Saturday, the circuit was dry once more.

All three cars got a great start with Jeff immediately up to second and fighting for the lead. Jo too had a good start and was looking to make up places. Brett was really cutting through the field though and was soon up to a position to challenge for a podium. Jeff then moved into the lead up in front with Brett fighting up to third, they crossed the line like that. But Jo had been making moves of her own further back in the pack. After fighting her way up the field to eighteenth, she was now battling with Vicki Butler-Henderson in the guest car. With one lap to go, Jo made her move on the pit straight and drew alongside. As they headed into the first corner they briefly made contact and this dropped Jo back behind. She fought to try and find another way past over the rest of the lap but Vicky managed to keep ahead. It had still been an excellent race with the other two Eurotech cars on the podium and Jo having one of her best races of 2017 so far.

Sunday saw two races with the first race getting underway at lunchtime. As the lights went out, Jo made her best start of the season making up loads of places only to find the red flags come out as she neared the end of the lap after a start line pile up had blocked the track. It was frustrating for Jo as she’d jumped up the field. Jeff and Brett were also frustrated as they’d been in first and second.

Sadly for Jo, on the restart her start wasn’t quite as good but she held position around the first lap until disaster struck as a rival ran into the side of her car knocking her off track. She kept control and quickly got back on the circuit but it became obvious something was badly wrong. She pitted and the team did what they could but after a further lap she was forced to retire with damage to the car.

Race one was Jos best result (Photo by Marc Waller) Race one was Jos best result (Photo by Marc Waller) Jo had a great battle with VBH (Photo by Marc Waller) Jo enjoyed racing against Vbh and Rebecca Jackson (Photo by Marc Waller) Jeff and Brett both won (Photo by Marc Waller)




“The only positive to not finishing is that I got to see Jeff and Brett race” she said in the pits afterwards.

She not only saw her two team mates race but they took a one-two finish, with Brett comfortably ahead of dad Jeff.

The team repaired Jo’s car in time for the third race and the three Eurotech cars took to the track once more.

Brett took a second comfortable victory with Jeff spending much of the race fighting for third. He eventually ended up tenth in the results after receiving a track limits penalty.

Sadly things hadn’t gone so well for Jo and she’d found her car had been weirdly off the pace as if it was down on power. This left Jo in a frustrated twenty second place overall.

It’d had been a mixed weekend for Jo and the team. On one hand Jeff and Brett had won every race between them but on the other Jo hadn’t been able to capitalise on her pace, getting knocked off in race two and having a car issue in the final race.

Jo spoke about her weekend afterwards and what had caused the race three issue;

“Races two and three at Snetterton weren’t so great suffering damage, a DNF and a bent exhaust valve putting me down on power but taking the positives eighteenth in race one was my best finish so far this season, not far off half way up the 30 car grid! I will miss the next round as it clashes with BTCC but I will be back for the Mini Festival at Brands Hatch in July.“ By Marc Waller

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