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Racing Report

Castle Combe, Nr. Chippenham, Wiltshire - May 28th 2001
Circuit Length: 1.84 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Started 30th out of 38 starters - Finished 24th

Qualifying: What a change from the previous race at Cadwell - the sun was shining and a light breeze was blowing. And not a drop of rain in sight!

There were 44 cars that went out to qualify for 38 slots on the grid. My intention had been to get out early in the pack to try and get a good lap time and be around others that I would try to get a tow from.

However, as I lined up waiting to go out gremlins struck again. The petrol pump died and Darren had to do some quick repairs to get the car to start. By the time this had been accomplished I was among the last to go out. What's that they say about the best laid plans of mice and men!

This was beginning to remind me of testing a couple of days previously when bolts sheered off and the track rod end came away giving me a hairy few moments with little or no steering.

Apart from the start qualifying was fairly uneventful - the yellow flags came out a couple of times making it a bit difficult to keep the pace going but nevertheless I qualified 30th and with a lap time of 1 min 30.6 secs - just 5 secs off the pole position man.

The Main Race: The sun was still shining as all 38 of us lined up on the grid. The green flag lap enabled all of us to check out the track, warm up the tyres and test out our brakes. Back on the grid we all waited for the red light to come on. The engine note rose to crescendo as soon as the light went to red then green and we were off.

Beside me on the grid was Andrew Hack, back in the Mini's after a few years racing other cars. We both made a good start then suddenly Rupert Hinde came from behind straight between Andrew and myself and suddenly pulled in front of Andrew. He was cutting it close and sure enough there was body contact as Andrew's front bumper and wing met Rupert's rear.

I decided this was no place for me and kept my foot in and straight ahead up to Folly and then Avon Rise, breaking sharply and changing down for Quarry Corner. There was the usual door handling and body tapping around Quarry ahead of me and I again kept my foot in and continued following those in front. Meanwhile behind me Andrew Hack and Rupert Hinde were to come to an untimely end and go no further.

Once round Quarry its then straight down to The Esses, the first of the two chicanes followed by a fast dash down to Tower Corner before Bobbies, the second chicane. From there its on down to Camp Corner a fast right hander leading onto the pit straight.

During the race someone had put down oil on the track around Tower Corner and Bobbies which caused the yellow flags to come out. This gave a few of us some interesting moments.

Taking it easy through Tower towards the end of the race gave Robert Riding the opportunity to catch me up. As I went into Bobbies my attention was caught by Robert being right behind me and I missed my line - this gave Robert just the opportunity he was waiting for to get past me.

And so I finished in 24th position………………..

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