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Racing Report

Silverstone, Northamptonshire - May 20th/21st 2000
Circuit Length: 2.24 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Started 23rd out of 38 starters - finished 21st

Qualifying: With 41 Mini's out on the track, the 20 minute qualifying time on Saturday was a fairly hectic affair. Amongst the first out on the track, it was very much a question of get a fast lap in as quickly as possible.

During testing the previous Tuesday my fastest time had been 1 min 54 secs - at that time I was out with GT's, Marcos's, and a Ferrari! All much faster but nevertheless great fun.

With good dry conditions and only a slight breeze, my best time in qualifying was 1 min 52 secs. I was pleased with this but still it only got me 23rd on the grid. Pole position man did a time of 1 min 48.6 secs. A mere 4 seconds - 22 cars!

The Main Race: With rain coming in later in the day on Saturday we were all expecting a very wet race. On the Sunday morning driving up to Silverstone - there were sporadic showers which got progressively heavier the close I got to the circuit. At the circuit it had rained heavily but for the moment was dry.

By 12.30 we were all wondering if the rain would stay away - it had stayed mainly dry for most of the morning but there was a threatening black cloud making it's way towards us.

With the race at 1.30, we finally decided to go out on dry tyres. A good choice.

When the lights changed from red to green all 38 cars thundered down to Copse, the first corner, and continued on down through Maggotts, Becketts , the hairpin at Abbey and on down past Priory onto Brooklands and Luffield - the long right hander before the Pits straight.

Throughout the 20 minute race I was in the middle of the pack fighting for position. The car was handling well but half way through the race I found I was losing grip - I put this down to a greasy track. It was making for interesting cornering, as I had to contend with the back end feeling very much like it was breaking away just a little too much!

Unknown to me I was losing oil through the overflow tank - this oil was spreading over my right wing onto the front wheel, and along the body work to the rear wheel on the driver's side. Inside the car my oil pressure and temperature were good - my mechanic told me afterwards that despite the oil leak my engine sounded fine.

I was battling with Neil Johnson during the latter half of the race but despite my being able to catch him I found it impossible to overtake. Finally on the last lap I was in a good position to catch him on the pit straight just before the chequered flag but going into Luffield I took too wide a line and lost valuable minutes - and so I finished in 21st position.

Next race is at Castle Combe on May 29th………………..

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