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Maiden Win at Snetterton!

posted 28 Sept 2016, 14:09 by Kieren McDonald
Snetterton is already a distant memory and now we will be travelling to Circuit Park Zandvoort (Netherlands) for the Mini 7 season finale. Will be good to see Roald, Bonnie, Fred, Wies and the rest of the NL gang :-)

Reflecting back to what turned out to be a fantastic race weekend....

My last outing had been Brands Hatch Mini Festival, having missed Oulton Park, so it seemed like an age since behind the wheel of the mini 7. Selby ensured the engine was on song by tending to the cylinder head.  Hunter Racetech prepped a few areas on the chassis that required attention - a few parts had to be changed but Mini Spares were on hand to supply very quickly replacement parts, once again a cracking service. A few bits in the van had to be replenished so a trip to Motor Serv soon sorted that. I managed to get a few sneaky laps in at Simply Race to get my head in, which I find is a fantastic way to test a circuit no matter what you are driving plus it is nowhere near the cost of a real test session! We were ready for yet another road trip to Norfolk, for what was forecast an extremely wet weekend.

Dan Wheeler of Dread kindly lent us his gazebo to shield us from the weather over the weekend - without it, there would have been a few glum faces!  Qualifying was well and truly soaking, which I was looking forward to. We didn't have many laps to get our 2 qualifying laps recorded with it being a long lap and with mixed grids. I really struggled and came in quite disappointed, as I felt the car was driving me rather than vice versa. I was really surprised to find out I had qualified 3rd for both races - result!

Race 1 was pretty much the same with the conditions so I was looking forward to see how the race would unfold. I had a good start and was up to 2nd but later into the lap I could not stop it locking up, no matter how I braked or what line I took. I went off onto the grass 3 corners in a row - I was close to coming in as something did not feel right but I plodded on, losing some places and then gaining a few. I had absolutely no confidence with the braking and I ended up coming off the power really early and trying to be extra gentle with the brake pedal to avoid further excursions. It was a relief to see the chequer flag and surprisingly the car was in one piece and I still finished P7.

Sunday, I woke up refreshed and in good spirits - no doubt helped by the glorious sunshine that was beaming down - what a contrast to the previous day! I gave the car a good look over and fortunately found the cause of the braking problem. With that, I was full of confidence again, ready for some fun in race 2, starting again from 3rd. Without a doubt this race would be dry tyres!

I got off to a great start but came off the power to let Charlie in on the inside for turn 1 losing some pace. On the exit of turn 1 there was a collision I had to avoid so dropped back a bit more - this brought out a safety car. I really thought the laps would dwindle away behind the safety car and leave nothing for fighting back up the ranks but there were fortunately a few remaining. I managed to tag myself back onto the front pack in about 5th place. I kept patient and within a couple of laps found myself fighting for P1 with Graeme and Tom. I managed to sneak in front of Graeme at the end of the back straight, heading into the chicane and from there was able to stretch a lead knowing they would be battling behind me. The chequer flag came out and what a feeling - absolutely incredible and to remember back to that point, brings a huge smile!!!  The Selby engine, gearbox and setup is really superb - the power down the straights and out of the corners was remarkable. Hunter Racetech made sure the car was reliable and feeling great with application of the Selby setup and Mini Spares parts.

Thank you for all your invaluable support for helping us reach the prestigious P1 in the Mini 7 Racing Club:

Mini Spares
Simply Race
Selby Race Engines
Hunter Racetech
Classic & Custom Works
British Mini Club
MB Race Photography
Rainmac Crafts
Friends & Family (including those over social media)


Great pics from Matthew Barrington as always - check out his other photos on his Facebook page!!

Here is my in-car video for you to enjoy (camera angle isn't right causing brightness!):

Race 2:

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