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Mallory Park , 11 October 2009

Qualifying

A wet and greasy track welcomed us to Mallory Park, with almost half the track having a line of oil around it, making the track very slippery at the hairpin. As usual I lined up for qualifying in the first few cars to ensure a nice clear run without the need to get past slower cars for the first few laps. However, Matt Rowe was very quick to get past the pack on the first lap and to start exploring the limits of the track, meaning that the second and third laps were punctuated with yellow flags whilst Matt explored the wet grass at the side of the track. Once I got past Matt I started pushing the lap times down and found several slippery patches and had a few twitchy moments in the process. I managed the joint second fastest time in class which put me third in class and sixth overall on the grid, in front of most class A and B cars.

Race

The weather had varied throughout the day and by the time the race was upon us blue skies and sunshine had arrived which was rapidly drying the track. We returned the car to the full dry setup in the hope that the track would be dry all race. On the formation lap it was clear that yet more oil had gone down on the circuit and that there were some damp patches off the racing line, ensuring that the race was going to be an exciting one. The damp patches around the incredibly fast Gerards corner especially meant that a small mistake could have a very large penalty. I made an uncharacteristic poor start, getting too much wheel spin off the line and lost out to a very fast starting Austen Greenway in his class C fury. I got alongside Colin Chapman (who qualified second) through Gerards but had to tuck in behind him, allowing Al Boulton through from behind, meaning that I finished the first lap sixth in class with plenty of catching up to do. I soon caught Colin and Austen Greenway, but Austen was being very defensive and was very difficult to get past. After a number of laps being blocked everywhere I went, I tagged onto the back of a class B car and made my way past at the end of the back straight to start persuing the other class C cars. I quickly caught up with Richard Wise and passed him on the back straight having got better exit speed from Gerards, and after a couple more laps was on the tail of Colin Chapman. Unfortunately the chequered flag came out before I had the chance to make a move on Colin and I finished a very close fourth in class, with the second fastest time in class.

   
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