Although the team arrived on Thursday evening, they didn’t actually have enough budget for the weekend to go testing on Friday but the team helped out with fellow competitors.
They did have chance for a quick driver of the car in the paddock and it’s lucky they did. It was established that there was a problem with an Oxygen sensor on the car. With help from Mad4Mini, the Chewitt Racing team sorted the problem. It’s not clear how long the issue has been affecting the car and it’s possible it was slowing the car at Brands Hatch too, making the fourth place even more impressive.
The lack of testing meant Qualifying was Hewitt’s first time on track with the short foster layout being used this year, at least part of the track was all new to her. Conditions were damp and she ended up seventh but with lots of ideas of where she could make up time with the expectation of moving up the field in the days two races.
Race one was on a wet track but with the rain stopping before the lights went out, it was drying throughout the race. The team had thought about trying to run the race on slicks but it would have been risky. Hewitt fought her way up to fifth before an incident bought out the red flags when a car went straight on at the Fosters corner. As the car which had gone out was ahead of her, this then promoted her to an excellent fourth in the final result equalling the best result of her season so far at Brands Hatch last time out.
The fourth place gave her second on the reverse grid for the second and final race, the last race of the meeting. Over to the driver herself to explain this one.
“Race two was a bit of an eventful one. I had the lead down to cascades where Rob Austin came down the inside. I therefore left racing room on the inside line to avoid contact with Rob and any other charging cars. However, I got hit on the passengers’ door and the near side rear wheel. I thought the race was over for me. But after managing holding the car straight after the contact I had a quick look in my mirror to see the horror unfold behind me as another car rolled. It was a Red flag and a complete restart. I again took the lead off of the line and held Rob off until druids. On the second lap Andy Montgomery came down the inside into lodge corner. But I couldn’t let him get away. I had a closing Tim Bill so I had to get my head down and keep with Andy. With a 1 minute 12.2 lap time to finish off the day and a 3rd place, our first ever podium was an amazing achievement. I couldn’t hold the tears back on the slowing down lap its quite an achievement considering we weren’t even going to be racing two weeks ago. A huge thank you to Simply Tracking for making it possible to race this weekend. It has been such a journey over the last 18 months it feels so amazing to finally be reward for all our struggles. Of course, our thoughts are with those caught up in the first lap accident. Wishing them all the best.
I must also thank all of our sponsor’s as we wouldn’t be able to race without any of you. Simply Tracking, Hylton Gott Volvo, Rock oil, Kleers and Peak Performance Reviews.”
There are just two race meetings left now with Donington Park next month and Snetterton in October. By Marc Waller