Terra Novus
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Racing Report

Brands Hatch, Fawkham, Kent - September 30th - October 1st 2000
Indy circuit length 1.22 mile

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Last race of the season. Qualifying Race: Started 9th out of 18 starters - Finished 8th. Main Race: Started 29th out of 30 starters - Finished 19th

Qualifying : With 39 competitors signed up to take part in this race and only 30 slots on the grid it was decided to hold a qualification race - the top 10 finishers in the qualification race would then go forward into the main race.

Qualifying was held in two separate sessions one after the other. I went out in session 2 with 18 others onto the Indy circuit. It had been raining quite heavily and so it was out on wets and try and get as good a lap time in as possible. At the end of my session my best time was 1 min 03 secs - the leaders of both sessions had done 1 min dead.

Qualifying Race: Starting 9th out of 18 meant I was in with a chance to get into the main race the next day. All I had to do was hang on to my position or better still improve on it.

It was dry conditions and as the lights went to green we all charged forward to Paddock Hill - it was clear we all wanted to get ahead and make sure we made it into the main race.

Fast and furious for most of the race we kept swopping places - I made it up to 6th place but on the last lap missed my turn in point and went off across the grass and dirt coming into the Cooper straight. This was a blow as it meant I was overtaken by a couple of others. Try as I might it was impossible for me to make up any places before I passed the chequered flag in 8th position.

Main Race : Starting at the back of the grid makes for a lot of work to do to get ahead - before the race the weather had become changeable. Because it started to rain it was decided to change to wet weather tyres. This was to prove a mistake - but unless you have a crystal ball it is sometimes impossible to tell.

As swift as the rain had come so it departed leaving a rapidly drying track. During the green flag lap I could see it was almost completely dry. I was not alone going out on wets but those on intermediates had a definite advantage.

By comparison with the qualification race the day before, the action around me seemed tame - I made a good start making up a couple of places straight away and then it was a question of keeping up with those in front.

Try as I might I found it quite hard to catch the likes of Steve Whiteley and Phil Gillibrand who had made the right choice and gone out on intermediate tyres. I therefore, had to be content with coming in 19th. Nevertheless I had bettered my previous best lap time during the qualification race by nearly 1second.

 

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Terra Novus 2000, Web Mistress: Denise Manderscheid