Sarah Moore headed to the Brands Hatch mini festival recently. Originally, she was due to race not just in the mighty mini championship which she started the season in, but also the Mini Challenge Cooper Pro class.
This looked set to be a busy weekend with consecutive races at times, meaning she would have to jump straight out of one car into the other!
But things went wrong for the Mighty Mini in Friday testing. Moore was running a new car after the previous one being down on power but this one started badly overheating. Things got worse when the gearbox also started to fail. The engine issues were traced to a wrongly fitted seal. Unfortunately to fix it, the car needed a new engine and there was none available so the Mighty Mini part of the weekend was over before it begun.
Fortunately, Moore still had a weekend of racing in the Mini Challenge Cooper Pro class to look forward to. She went in the weekend having never driven the car before but as she proved with the mighty minis, this doesn’t usually slow her down! She initially found some understeer but they managed to dial most of this out during the Friday test sessions but there wasn’t a chance to run on fresh tyres so that would be something new in the qualifying sessions.
Come qualifying, Moore found that she still had some understeer issues on the brand-new tyres, this left her in tenth but only a small amount off the pace with lots more time still to find. Moore was confident of having strong race pace.
As the lights went out for race one Moore made a good start and found herself in a battle with James Goodall, Darren Chatt and Martin Poole. Eventually crossing the line in sixth place. It was a strong debut.
Race two proved to be similar with Moore making an even better start and then racing the same drivers. She looked set for another sixth place when Martin Poole managed to sneak past her in the closing stages.
The final race of the day was a reverse grid and unluckily for Moore it was sixth picked for pole, leaving her to start in seventh. This proved to be the most eventful race of the day. Jessica Hawkins was hit in the early stages which allowed Moore through along with the rest of her chasing group. The rest of the race became a battle between the top seven drivers with Moore battling fellow female drive Jessica Hawkins for some of the race. By the end, Moore found herself in sixth once again with another strong finish ending her first ever Mini Challenge weekend.
Moore was happy with how her weekend had gone;
“I’d never driven the car before the weekend so I was extremely happy with my pace and I thoroughly enjoyed the racing. It was very clean and all drivers were driving with respect for each other which is great to see. I hope to do more Mini Challenge races in the future.”