Lydia Walmsley and her small team arrived ready for Friday testing and practice to prepare for the weekend. The weather couldn’t get much worse throughout the day with torrential rain and high winds
The session with Joe Tanner was still very productive and they got a lot of work done on wet conditions which could be useful if the weekend was as wet.
The timetable for the Croft weekend was tighter than usual meaning all the Mini Challenge cars qualified together meaning there were a lot of cars on track fighting for a gap in the traffic to set their fast times. Walmsley tried to find gaps in the traffic to set a good time and she’d set a fast time only to slide back down the order as others improved but as the session came to an end she had set the second fastest time and her best ever non reverse grid starting position.
When the race got underway, Walmsley got a great start and slotted in right behind the leaders rear bumper. She challenged for the lead for the first couple of laps but then came under pressure for her second position from third, who had taken advantage of the tow in the windy conditions to close up to her tail, making it a three-way battle for the lead. Walmsley successfully defended whilst still challenging for the lead. Her rival behind then pulled off with an engine management issue leaving Walmsley some breathing space and she crossed the line in a best ever second place.
For race two, the reverse grid draw left her starting third but her start was once again perfect and Walmsley moved up to second before the first corner. However she ended up running across the kerb on the edge of the circuit bouncing her across the gravel trap. She managed to control the car well enough to avoid hitting the wall but her slowed pace meant she exited the complex in last place with a gap to the pack.
She spent most of the rest of the race re-catching the pack and with the overall race being quite short there was little time to do anything about it. Despite that she managed to fight her way up to seventh place by the flag.
“Well, race two at Croft didn't go quite as planned. I lined up third on the grid, got an amazing start and managed to get up to second place before the first corner. However, I clipped the kerb on the inside a touch too heavily sending me into the gravel. Fortunately, I managed to continue and clawed my way back to seventh from dead last. Not the result we were quite hoping for but despite not being to Croft for a number of years, getting my best qualifying and race result yet plus another podium and a great points haul, how can you complain?
Just wanted to say thanks to Derek Hales and Ian Hales for supplying our tyres for this weekend which enabled us to be right at the front of the grid. Thank you! Also a special thanks to my other loyal sponsors: Morris Lubricants, Barber and Clarke Ltd, Whip Street Motors LTD, Coastline Graphics, Simon Rourke, M R Walker & Sons, Ropelet and A&D Motors without whom I wouldn't be racing!
Now I’m looking ahead to Cadwell Park in just three weeks time!” By Marc Waller