Jo Polley headed to Norfolk to continue her battle for the 2018 Super Mighty Mini championship. Her rivals have been closing recently but at Brands she managed to cling on at the top of the standings. Snetterton would be another tough challenge.
Testing on the Friday proved to be a good start to the weekend. She was joined this weekend by Jeff Smith, having only his second race meeting back since his big Touring car accident. His presence on the track would hopefully be a big help to Jo, helping her learn from his experience as well as taking points from rivals. Both Jeff and Jo had a successful day testing in great weather and things were looking good for Qualifying and the races on Sunday.
Qualifying didn’t completely go to plan for Jo. She couldn’t extract the same performance from the car as she had in testing but despite this she was still in fifth on the grid. Jeff’s car performed perfectly and he took pole.
As the lights went out for race one, Jeff Sped away into a battle with Connor O’Brien. Jo made a good start and moved into the usual Super Mighty mini battle with the chasing pack.
Jeff and Connor began to pull away and the two battles at the front raged, one for first and one for third!
If anything Jo’s was the toughest with four cars battling and swapping positions with the cars often three abreast across the circuit.
Jeff too was swapping positions with Connor relatively regularly but eventually he seemed to get into a position where he was in control.
Unfortunately disaster then struck as white smoke began to pour out the exhaust. The engine had failed putting him out of not only this race but the second one too as there were no other engines available.
This left Jo in a battle for third. Things were fierce and she edged ahead several times only for her rival to repass on the next corner. The two cars crossed the line almost together with Jo just in fourth.
“I actually hadn’t realised we were fighting for third.” She said afterwards.
Jo would now be on her own for race two. She’d start from fourth but with her championship rivals all around her on the reverse grid start (The top six from the previous race were reversed.)
As is usual with the Minis a huge battle ensued with a fight between sixth all the way to first. The top two eventually broke away while Jo was further back leaving her in a fight for third place.
With three laps to go she finally edged ahead into third. Although it was by now too late to catch the two leaders, third was a great result.
Jo spoke after the race;
I’ve had a great day at Snetterton, really hard fought racing finishing fourth and third! Well done to my team-mate Connor O'Brien who had two brilliant wins and now leads the Championship, on drop-scores it’s really close and in BTCC style we’ll head in to the final round with any one of the top four of us in contention, so it’s not over yet! It’s been brilliant close racing, well done everyone! Thanks to me team and my sponsors including Polleysport, Ravenol and Empire RV” By Marc Waller