So here we are, the end of another season. It’s come so soon, and we have travelled the furthest for the last round of the Mini Se7en Challenge, to Croft circuit near Darlington.
With everything to play for in the top 10 of the series, it’s come down to the last 2 races to decide the champion, runner up and each subsequent position.
With variable weather being a key factor it was a very mixed qualifying session, we all went out on dry tyres on a damp and greasy track, and gradually the weather turned and got wetter and wetter. I managed to do my usual trick of fluffing things up and missed the window of dry track which only lasted 3 laps. So to take 7th and 6th respectively for the 2 races wasn’t too bad, mid field in fact in a low entry race.
Race one was very easy to get the tyre choice correct, wets all the way. I managed an average start and kept with the pack for the first few corners, and by the end of lap one I was up to 4th. A little excursion through the gravel at turn one didn’t hamper me, but a safety car period did. But I made another schoolboy error and held track position rather than bunch up to the race leaders, this left me some way off of 3rd at the restart. I dropped to fifth mid way through the race and had a fantastic tussle with the car in front, eventually nabbing 4th and finishing in this position. This effectively confirmed 4th place in the championship.
Race two was dry and I made a great start, but not as good as an ex-champion who managed to get alongside, this led to a bit of a squeeze down the straight leading to a little rubbing . It can’t be helped as it’s so close out there, but I held on for 6th through the first corner and that whole lap. Lap 2 was one I would rather forget though , as the approach into Tower saw a competitor closing up to me. I made a defensive move to the right and held station, hoping to stop an overtaking move up the inside. When I couldn’t stay there any more I had to turn in, the car behind wasn’t in sight on my inside mirror as it was weaving all over the place. The next thing I knew we had touched. I made it through the corner ok, but as I approached the quick Esses section, I turned left and felt that something wasn’t quite right, then the car snapped to the left and right before finally depositing itself into the freshly ploughed field. Luckily the tractor was further down the field and the car some how stayed flat and didn’t pitch into the earth and roll, not bad considering that the soil was around 400mm lower than the track verge.
So a very frustrating end to the year with a DNF through a flat tyre .
However this bad luck was a silver lined cloud, as the points couldn’t change any more, effectively giving me 4th position in this years challenge.
It’s a fantastic result and I have achieved so much more than I had set myself set at the beginning of the year. To have taken 2 x 2nd place finishes, 1x fastest lap and 4th overall is a superb pay day for all the hard work and effort that the whole team put in. A lot of which is in part down to Mini Sport.
The car was on display at the MiniWorld action day this Saturday, I hope you found us on the Mini Sport stand and said hello, oh, and lets not forget to say “Roll on 2015″ !