A good early start up at 4.30am on Sunday morning.
Arriving at one of my favourite tracks, Lincolnshires Cadwell Park. The track was dry and there was a cold brisk breeze. Final preparations were done before joining the traffic jam as 26 Mighty Minis queued up to get through the 7.50am safety and scruiteneering tests.
We were the second session out for a very early Qualify session. Initially I went steady as the tyres took a few laps to get up to pressure and temperature so the car handling became better the more laps I did.
There was a couple of early incidents and some crashes in qualifying which gave rise to some yellow flags which cost us a couple of flying laps as we only have one 20 minute qualifying session.
I was lying in 6th place until the last 3 laps when I was pipped as I managed to post a 2.00.695 which was 10th fastest from 26 cars. It felt good getting in the top ten again.
As the red lights went off I made a good start and was level side by side for 9th place heading into the bottom of the hill at Coppice, but this put me on the left hand side of the track for the next right hander, I had to concede 9th back and in doing so I was lined up and taken by Greg Jenkins and was back in 11th.
A few laps went by and I got into my rhythm and was catching back up into the hairpin but struggled getting into third gear and lost another place to James Goodall. Now in 12th, going up the hill again and a good run towards the back of James saw me pass back for 11th and I soon caught up with Caroline who was now in 10th behind Greg.
We saw a mistake by Kit Stevens ahead and he lost a few places so I knew I could get back up into the top ten with the leaders still in my sights. Caroline and Greg were battling in front of me and I took advantage of this, passing Greg to get me into a 9th place spot 1 lap before the end and was not quite close enough to catch Caroline who finished ½ a second ahead of me for 8th.
I felt I had battled well and had no damage which is always a bonus!
Before the second race we made a few fixes. New brake pads were fitted and selector repaired with the help from Mick at Mini Sport.
Starting in 9th I was on the other side of the track and was feeling confident. A reasonable start saw me remain in 9th for the first couple of laps but this race was far closer and faster than the first and everyone was bunched up for a few laps. We were in groups of 3 or four cars, It was very exciting and close racing through every part of the track.
Kit Stevens came flying past from 13th and made progress ahead causing me to brake early and get overtaken again. I drove consistently faster laps and set a 2.00.188, half a second faster than in qualifying and held on to the back of 3 cars for a 12th place finish but 9th quickest in this race.
Overall a good weekend and I was pleased as I beat my own personal best race lap by a second and I was 9th quickest overall for the weekend and only a 10th or 2 of 8th quickest.
More improvements to come for Castle Combe in 3 weeks.