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Racing Report

Silverstone, Nr. Towcester, Northamptonshire - March 31st - April 1st 2001
Circuit Length: 2.24 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Started 28th out of 38 starters - Finished 21st

Qualifying: For the first race of the season it was a grey cold day at Silverstone and very damp. It was more a question of car control in many areas as the track was greasy. Too much speed and the back steps out and you're into a slide - too little speed and you don't make a good lap time!

Getting a clear lap is also one of those hazards to be beaten when qualifying - put that together with greasy conditions and it does not make life easy!

For most of the session it was drizzling lightly but for a short time in the middle I found some clear track time and the drizzle stopped. During those moments I was able to knock 4 seconds off my lap time. That and the following lap enabled me to get 28th on the grid.

The Main Race: The drizzling stopped and the light wind had long since dried the track when we all lined up on the grid. Next to me was Stuart Grayer - normally a front runner Stuart had experienced problems contending with the greasy track conditions earlier in the day.

Following the green flag lap we all lined up on the grid and waited for the lights to turn to red. The engine note rose, the lights turned to red then green and we were off. Stuart made a very fast start obviously eager to make up positions. I tried to follow but he was too quick for me. I did however make up a couple of positions going into Copse and on down to Maggots Curve, through Ireland and straight down to the hairpin at Farm.

I was in amongst Gareth Hunt, James Loukes and Rupert Hinde - we jockeyed for position as we continued on down to Brooklands and Luffield and back onto the pit straight to continue around Copse for another lap.

On the next lap as we reached the hairpin the car in front suddenly peeled off to the left. Stopped on the inside of the hairpin on the track was Rupert Hind! And I was heading straight for him. My only option was to jink right going across the kerb and the grass . I missed him but only just.

I continued on under the Bridge before Priory only to find two cars had come off and were dangerously close to the track. This caused the black and yellow safety flag to come out. As the front leader kept the pace at 50 mph so the rest of us bunched up in line behind - it must have been like watching a multi coloured train snaking its way through the circuit.

When the green flag finally showed we all set off again to better our current race positions. For myself this meant getting past Loukes. This I found impossible to do as he was so successful in keeping me at bay. He in turn was being stopped by Gareth Hunt from getting any further forward.

On the last lap at the hairpin I misjudged it and Stuart Hayman came hammering into the corner and got ahead of me. And so I came in 21st

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