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2015 Snetterton

posted 17 May 2015, 03:05 by Kieren McDonald
The season is certainly in full flow, having got past the first weekend of the season at Castle Combe; A time for reflection and preparation.  All eyes were on the weather forecast ahead of the Norfolk trip – rain or sunshine, which would it be. Plenty of fellow racers wish away the rain but I was certainly looking forward to a spot of wet weather dancing, after all what do they say about those who do well in the wet?

A combination of Mini Spares and Hunters Garage got BigMacRacing’s #5 mini se7en raring to go. Once again quality parts, speedy delivery, great knowledge and setup. We are very lucky to be sponsored and supported by great names in the business.

A rare novelty going by the name of a “practice session” was available to us on Saturday morning to get a feel for the modern Snetterton 300 formation. It’s a long circuit at 2.99 miles and essential to get a good tow down one of the 2 long straights. I for one was looking forward to Snetterton as it is quite challenging with some unique twists and turns. Turn 1, Riches, pin points the brave ones with a combination of high speed & sideways action. Brundle/Nelson demonstrates multi-tasking at its best, sideways whilst high speed braking and changing gear before cleanly navigating through the chicane – fantastic when nailed right.

Qualification session followed on the Saturday morning – it was still dry, although high winds threatening to change that in an instant.  It proved difficult to get a clean lap with a superb busy 28-strong grid.  The red flag was waved after several laps due to a beached car; by the time the track was cleared, the rain began. For some reason I headed out for another lap and soon regretted that decision when my brakes locked up taking me on a little cross country trip. No damage and got back to the paddock so a relief. I was reasonably happy with my performance, although frustrated not having more time to get a clean lap. It turned out I had qualified 4th for the first race and 5th for the 2nd race, fantastic outcome for the team!

Race 1 was proven to be a test of strategy – it had been raining lots but the sun was shining brightly. We opted for the wets last minute as there appeared to be plenty of standing water. The field was split, some had opted for the same choice, others for the dry tyres.  We were led out for our green flag laps by Mini Spares raffle winner, Guy Pither, in his own mini and found the track conditions were better to suited to dry tyres.  I started on the 2nd row of the grid besides Max Hunter and was always going to be tough to get a clean start and not lose positions from being on the outside.  The start went ok and a clean race commenced, which is always tough when the racing is so close and tyres and brakes are cold.  Unfortunately lost a few places along the way and then struggled with the wet tyres as I over-drove it towards the end trying to get back in the game. Some dropped oil caused me to go wide and collect some mud but finally finished P7.

Race 2 was far more positive and one to remember – not a great start so lost a couple of places from 5th place grid start. I soon composed myself and started hooking up some fast laps, contributing to the 2nd fastest time overall. Before I knew it I had pulled off some great moves to get into P1, even stretching a lead. A little excitement got the better of me so over-drove it on a few corners, allowing the others to catch up and drag me down the back straight. An incident caused some damage and lost me time so crossed the finishing line in P3. Great result for the team in only the second race weekend of the season. A disappointment not to clinch the top slot but a brilliant result all the same.

Many thanks to everybody that has helped, including sponsors, friends and family. Great pics Matthew Barrington Race Photography.  Everything combines to bring the results so top work everyone!
Race 2 video podium run highlights:

Check out all the in-car video footage from throughout the season!
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