We often say the track conditions are “challenging”, but at Snetterton they really were. A series of rain showers hit the track, often mid-session. Add some splilt fluids and random gusts of heavy wind and you can imagine how our drivers felt.
A mixture of excitement and apprehension passed down the pit-lane. Peter Pentell, creator and driver of the incredible LaSupra Racing Lancia Delta 2JZ, had travelled all the way from Sweden for the event with his friend and team-mate Andreas. Peter had intended to compete this weekend but issues beyond his control meant he was there without his famous blue and white Lancia, although Peter did hint he and his car would be at UK Time Attack very soon, possibly even for the next Round at Cadwell Park on Saturday 9th August. So put that one in your diary.
What did Peter think of our ‘changeable’ British weather? “It’s crazy!” he said. Can’t argue with him there.
Gareth left spectators open-mouthed as he fired over the line in the final to record a new outright Time Attack lap record at Snetterton. The all-new SVA Imports Evo made it’s debut at Knockhill last time out but was missing a few bits that were added in time for this round, so the car is getting closer to it’s proper 2014 spec. Incredibly, Gareth set this 1:10.880 Snetterton 200 lap record on his ‘banker’ lap. The track was still not completely dry and Gareth hadn’t used all the toys, including the nitrous oxide injection that stayed switched-off all day.
Fastest in the damp qualifying session by 0.266 seconds over Gareth Lloyd and SVA Imports, we were all looking forward to seeing a real shoot-out between the pair in the final. Unfortunately, GSII suffered a mysterious mechanical issue during the final 20-minute session, leaving a frustrated Olly Clark to circulate at low speed to collect some points. His qualifying lap was the second-fastest lap of the day.
One of the few drivers in the pit-lane pleased to see rain, Simon Deaton completed more wet laps than anyone else. The Porsche driver loves wet conditions, as he claims it pushes the focus from the car and towards the ability of the driver. A positive weekend for Simon, who missed out on second place in the final by just 0.6 seconds but still grabbed third spot on the podium.
Incredibly, the dry spells during the day were the first time Ronnie had driven the car in the dry! Ronnie’s steep learning curve continues in the ex-BTCC Golf, although he says that both he and the Airtec team learned a lot at Snetterton. Hopefully we’ll see him closer to the front at the twisty Cadwell Park next time out.
Marc described his weekend as “damage limitation”. He never felt fully on the pace all day, although he did push himself during qualifying in the battle for third place with Neil Wrenn and managed it. Marc couldn’t really get the tyres working properly and didn’t get a good lap in the final session due to traffic. Sportingly, Marc pointed out he was very happy for Will Watson taking his first Time Attack win. We’ll see if Marc is as charitable if Will repeats the feat at Cadwell Park. Club FWD is hotting up and as you can tell from this photo of Marc, no-one is backing off!
The next round of the UK Time Attack Championship will be held at Cadwell Park on 9th August 2014.