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Racing Report

Mallory Park - June 25th, 2000
Circuit Length: 1.35 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Started 9th out of 22 Mini Se7en starters - Finished 10th

Qualifying: With 43 Mini's entered for 28 slots on the grid the only answer was two qualifying sessions and a qualifying race.

In the second qualifying session of the morning I was ready to get out early and try for a quick lap early on. The car had a different idea. As we all started our engines my car coughed tried to start then died - but several willing hands gave me a push and I was able to push-start it. As I carried on down the Pitlane before entering the track she didn't sound too healthy and she spent the next two laps giving the odd cough, pop bang and backfire until she cleared and I was able to continue. So much for my flying start! Still I did need to learn the circuit - I had not been there for well over a year. What's that they say about the best laid plans of mice and men!

Thirteen laps later at the end of the session my best lap time was 59.96 sec - that was to give me 15th position out of the 22 in my qualifying session. By the time all qualifying times had been taken into account from both qualifying sessions the top ten from the first and the top 11 from the second sessions were placed immediately into the main race. The remaining 22 were to take part in the Qualifying race - the top seven finishers would get to race in the main race.

The Main Race: Starting 9th on the grid meant I was in with a chance to compete in the main race - however, Mallory is renowned for not being easy to overtake. It was going to be a challenge.

When the lights changed from red to green, the engine note was at fever pitch as we all shot forward heading straight down the Kirby Straight towards Gerrards a long and interesting double apex right hander. Then flat out down the Stebbe straight before a very quick change down into third to get through the Lake Esses. From there it was flat out uphill to The Shaws hairpin.

Taken in bottom gear The Shaws was an interesting place to watch from for a spectator - it was touch and go on every lap whether you came through the hairpin without hitting one another. Once safely round the hairpin it was straight on to Devil's Elbow the left-hander onto the Kirby Straight once more.

From ninth I quickly made up a place to 8th and started battling for 7th but it was easier said than done. Keeping up with the pack made for some hairy moments at the Hairpin when six of us piled into the corner all battling for the same air-space. At least twice I totally locked up and slid into the corner only to collect it and carry on round safely! But on the final lap having already lost one position I went into the Hairpin in 8th only to be hit in the rear by a following mini. The force of the thump pushed me aside, totally demolished a light and yes, I lost yet another place - and so I had to settle for 10th.

Next race is Saturday July 1st at Donnington - a great circuit to race at.

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Terra Novus 2000, Web Mistress: Denise Manderscheid