Frustating time at Pembrey

Pembrey was a good weekend as far as pace was concerned, but the win eluded Sarah. 

27/04/2016


Until this weekend, Sarah had never raced at Pembrey so Friday was all about learning the track!  After having watched YouTube videos and then an early morning track walk with driver coach Ed Pead, Sarah went out in the first session on a dry but drizzling day.  The track got progressively wetter and wetter as the day went on but the test went well and the team got plenty of data to study in readiness for the weekend ahead.

 

With three races this weekend, there were two qualifying sessions, the first being for races 1 and 2 and the second for race 3.  Sarah obviously was happy with the track and the car as she put it on pole for all three races, the pole for race 3 coming on just her second lap out of the pits!

Race 1 didn't start well when the cars were gridded up incorrectly, with only one row between the slick shod race cars and the road series cars and Sarah was put on the wrong side of the track for pole.  However, despite this, Sarah got a great start and maintained the lead into the first corner, only to be hit by Harrison coming out of the third corner which pushed her wide and allowed Fabby to also come through.  Sarah continued in third behind Harrison and Fabby.  Harrison had some issue a few laps from the end which allowed Fabby and Sarah to move up to first and second which is where they stayed until the end, Sarah crossing the line just 0.8 behind Fabby and securing fastest lap to boot.  

 

Race 2 and this time Sarah was in the correct position on the grid.  However, she got far too much wheel spin at the start, allowing Harrison to get into the lead into the first corner.  Brett Lidsey in the race series had a rally cross moment and, as he came back through the field, went up the inside of Sarah going into turn 4, pushing Sarah wide onto the marbles and throwing her off the circuit.  This allowed Fabby to get through and left Sarah going cross country until she could get back onto the circuit and back pushing.  By this point, she had lost far too much ground to make any serious dent on the lead gained by Harrison and Fabby so she had to settle for 3rd - but managed to put in the fastest lap again which was at least some small consolation.

Race 3 and Sarah's start was better but not as good as Harrison's who hooked it up and got a better exit from the first hairpin, meaning he was first into Dibeni bend.  Sarah stayed with him and Fabby right behind.  Fabby gave Sarah a nudge going into Speed straight and got past.  The three were in a close battle.  Sarah got past Fabby coming out of Hatches hairpin but he then got back through with a better exit out of Brooklands hairpin.  Fabby then got by Harrison and took the lead.  As the three cars then went into the first hairpin, Fabby went tight and Harrison went wide, seemingly to try to get a better exit after Fabby had compromised the corner going tight. This left a gap on the inside which Sarah went for.  Unfortunately, Harrison then turned into the hairpin extremely tightly which caused Sarah and him to hit, turning Harrison around.  Both continued but, with the lap times being so close between the road cars, left no opportunity for either to make any inroads on Fabby's lead.   Sarah's steering on her car was also damaged which meant her lap times were compromised.

 

So, all in all, a bit of a frustrating weekend but still some good results and Sarah retains the lead in the championship.  

"Being the quickest on track but not converting that into a win is really frustrating" Sarah commented. "I really need to sort my starts out!  However, the positives are that I've come to a new track, learnt it quickly and been leading the pace from the off which is fantastic.  I have to thank the team, Westbourne for doing their usual fantastic job and my sponsors for their continue support."

The next round is Sarah's home track, Rockingham. 

 

 

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2019 Race Calendar

  • March 30/31: Silverstone / Clio Cup / Rounds 1 & 2
  • May 11/12: Brands Hatch / Clio Cup / Rounds 3 & 4
  • July 5/7: Zandvoort / Clio Cup / Rounds 5 & 6
  • August 10/11: Snetterton /Clio Cup/Rounds 7 & 8
  • August 24: Donington /Clio Cup / Rounds 9 & 10
  • Sept 21/22: Croft / Clio Cup / Rounds 11 & 12
  • Oct 26: Oulton Park /Clio Cup/Rounds 13 & 14

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