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Racing Report

Super Coupe Series - Renault 5 GT Turbo/Honda CRX/VW Polo G40

Oulton Park, Nr Tarporley, Cheshire , Fosters Circuit - Saturday March 23, 1996
Circuit Length: 2.77 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 96 Denise Manderscheid & 19 Val Foley both Renault 5's
Comment : My first ever Club race!

Qualifying: Qualifying was a real treat - I think. I can honestly say I have never seen so many cars broad-side and generally sliding around as I did last Saturday morning! Overnight there had been a lot of rain and the track was in a very greasy state. By the time the Renaults/Hondas and VW G40's went out to qualify the Formula Fords and XR2s had had their fun slithering their way around and over the grass. Not being used to having so much traffic around me 1 took it fairly easy but was still able to keep up with the pack (I was actually quite pleased at that).

It was evident the Hondas were having trouble. Apparently they do not run on Wets but on Intermediates and these are not good in wet slippy conditions.

Not only were they considerably slower than I had expected but they appeared to 'loseit' very easily on some of the comers. Old Hall in particular seemed to be favourite. On one lap coming up to Old Hall corner I spotted a Honda in front of me who suddenly seemed to veer off to the right and then he was broadside in front of me. Very gracefully he just simply slipped off the side of the track onto the grass. By this time my mouth and eyes were wide open as I just kept on going. Was I going to be next, well yes actually!

Towards the end of the qualifying session near to Old Hall Corner, where the pit lane joins the main circuit, Val was in front of me one minute and slipped off the next. Seeing this I stupidly touched my brakes causing me to slide, then spin off to the grass just before the end of the pit lane. I managed to get the car re-started and slithered back onto the tarmac from where I kept going for the remaining few laps. Val was not so fortunate and had to be towed back in. No real damage done though.

But by this time we had both done sufficiently well to get onto the grid for the race.

Race Day: There were 25 competitors on the grid in total, myself being at position 20 and Val at 21. Forming up was a doddle but the interminable wait on the grid while the XR2i's who had raced before us were cleared from the track was very wearing. Apparently there were bits of car strewn everywhere around the track!

It seemed an age before I saw the 5 minute board, but then the 1 min, then 30 sec boards were up and we were off on the green flag lap - all formed up and raring to go.

A rolling start was a lot easier than I had expected, but still as we came up to and around Lodge corner the pace car slowed right down to make us form up closer. I found it quite hard to be in bottom gear after going around previously in third. I never spotted the green light/ flag or whatever. All of a sudden we were off.

I actually had a fairly uneventful race apart from the time I nearly lost everything at Knickerbrook. My own fault, I was going too fast and totally unsettled the car causing me to lift at least one wheel off the track and snake my way through Knickerbrook and on up to Clay Hill. But apart from that there was no dallying with other cars, no in- fighting, no coming together with other cars. I was lapped by the leaders twice that I can remember, and played it very defensive - kept off the race line and allowed them plenty of room to get by. All I really wanted to do was finish. And that I did.

Val unfortunately had a coming together with a VW G40 and was forced to retire on Lap 9 with engine failure.

 

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