Snetterton in Norfolk was the most recent venue for Lydia Walmsley’s debut season in the Mini Challenge. The circuit is the young drivers local venue and she had plenty of support as she competed during the weekend.
Friday practice saw her run into an issue with her brakes. This was soon traced to an ABS sensor and this was replaced ready for the race weekend itself.
Unfortunately for Lydia, her mechanical problems weren’t over. She had been running in sixth in qualifying when the power steering pump failed. This meant an early return to the pits just when the track was at it’s fastest. This saw her drop down the order from sixth to end up in twelfth on the grid. It was very disappointing as she had been getting quicker with each lap and all track time is a big benefit as she learns the car and the championship. She would have to try and make up the places on Saturday’s first race.
It rained heavily before the race but by the time the cars were about to take to the track it had slowed to a drizzle. However, the track was still wet. Lydia was unsure which tyres would be best. Was it going to start drying up or get wetter once more? The question was answered in the assembly area as it began to rain heavier. Wet’s it was! Many of the other cars opted for a mixed slicks and wets choice, gambling on it drying up a bit. For Lydia, the more rain the better!
Unfortunately for Lydia, the rain eased once more and left the track not as wet as they expected, meaning she was not on the fastest tyre combination after all. This didn’t appear to matter as she was already up to seventh on only the sixth corner of the first lap. She continued strongly through the first half of the race but unfortunately during the race the track started to dry. This caused her to lose pace on her full wet set up and she dropped a place to eighth. Crossing the line in this position it had still been a strong performance with four places made up from her start position.
Sunday dawned dry and so Lydia and the team changed the set up.
Unfortunately this didn’t gain the benefit everyone hoped but she still managed to take an eighth and a ninth from the days two races. Lydia explained that her upcoming exams at School have limited her testing time;
“That wasn’t exactly what I hoped for at the start of the weekend but I was happy to get three top ten finishes when several other drivers fell off the track! I'm looking forward to getting my exams out of the way so we can focus on set-up more! I’d just like to thank my race instructor Joe Tanner, my fantastic sponsors Morris Lubricants, Whip Street Motors, Derek Hales Ltd and A&D Motors and also my ever supportive team!” By Marc Waller