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Racing Report

Donnington, Park, Leicestershire - July 1st 2000
GP circuit length 2.5 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Started 25th out of 34 starters - Finished 21st

Qualifying : Another grey and drizzly day - but at least for qualifying it stayed dry. A fairly uneventful qualifying on a circuit that I had not had chance to test on.

This year for added interest we were racing on the GP circuit - the only difference from the National being the addition of the Esses chicane and the Melbourne hairpin just before Goddards and the start finish straight prior to Redgate Corner.

Race Day : Before the race we were all wondering if it was going to stay dry or rain - it certainly looked threatening. It had poured down earlier in the day leaving the circuit very damp and greasy. Then the sun had come out and the light breeze had helped to dry the circuit.

But a quarter of an hour before the race it started to rain heavily and so it was definitely over to wet weather tyres.

By the time we were all lined up on the grid the rain had stopped but the sky was still very threatening. When the lights changed to green all 34 of us hammered down to Redgate the first right hander - most of us made it through in one piece. Ahead of me there were one or two who were door handling their way through the corner jockeying for position.

The circuit was greasy at certain points around the track because of the earlier rainfall - this made for some interesting racing as we all slithered around the track at certain points.

I ws told afterwards that spectators found it interesting to watch at Redgate as several times I and several others tried negotiating the corner only to find there was no traction. At this point the car had a mind of its own and try as you might it was pure luck as to whether you made it round Redgate on the black stuff or partly off it in the gravel or dirt at the side.

More than once I found myself sliding around Redgate - the only option was to go in as controlled as possible and gradually feed on the power to enable forward motion. Too much power and the car started to slide out of control too little and you could lose it to a spin - it was a constant on again off again on the throttle.

For those standing at or between the Melbourned hairpin and Goddards there was a fine view as a gaggle of Mini's attempted to get around the slippery left-hander all at the same time.

I had Mini's on either side of me with Jonathan ahead as we approached the left-hander before Goddards. The mini in front of Jonathan lost it and spun off to my left, Jonathan also lost it and I had to jink right rather quickly to try and avoid him. He and I made eye contact for a split second as I went past him. Another coming together like Spa we certainly did not want!

I have no idea what happened to the Mini that had been on my right hand side I think he went off into the barrier? Meanwhile I carried on down to Redgate leaving some crossed up cars behind me.

By this time the race was almost over. The track was definitely getting very greasy indeed. As I slithered around the final lap I could see Jonathan Hudson behind me followed by Jon Cullum who had an unfortunate incident at the entry into the Esses chicane prior to the Melbourne loop which caused him to lose a lot of valuable places.

I managed to keep my position to finish in 21st position.


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Terra Novus 2000, Web Mistress: Denise Manderscheid