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Racing Report

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

Castle Combe - Monday May 7th
Circuit Length: 1.84 miles

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 96 Denise Manderscheid & 19 Val Foley both Renault 5's
Comment : What a beautiful day! I really thought it was going to be tipping it down with rain but instead it was a pleasantly warm day. A lot different from the previous Thursday when we tested at Castle Combe, because although it stayed dry for the morning there was a bitterly cold wind.

Qualifying: Qualifying went very smoothly for both of us - I even managed to knock 5 seconds off my best lap time from the Thursday's test day, so I was quite pleased.

Lap times on qualifying for both of us were: Denise 1.23.38 and Val 1.19.80 Positions on the grid were Val 25 - Denise 27

Race Day: Another interesting race for many of us - out of 27 starters 10 did not finish including me. From a spectator standpoint it was one of the more interesting of the day so I am told. From the almost three laps that I completed, what I remember most was the one or two cars stopped off track at different places followed by a complete white-out that I was enveloped in on the third lap. The white-out was due to Johnny Mac's Renault 5 issueing a smoke trail to make a steam engine proud of. An interesting time for me as I couldn't see much of where I was going!

However as I approached Dean Straight the white-out disappeared and I could see Mac ahead of me. He pulled off into the Pit Lane and I was expecting to go straight ahead. The yellow flag was in effect and had been for some time. The next marshall point was just ahead of me prior to the pit-lane entrance. The red flag was shown to me and thinking the race had been stopped I made a split second decision to enter the pitlane to go from there into the Pits. Unfortunately at Castle Combe it is very easy to miss the short cut across into the Pits and end up in the Paddock and that's what I did!!!

I was, I think understandably a bit cross (to put it mildly). Although I was very near to the Pits entrance I was not allowed back in and so ended my race. I did speak to the Clerk of the Course and he admitted the red flag was shown to me at a time when they were only thinking of stopping the race. They subseqently decided to allow the race to continue.

In the meantime Val continued through to her 8th lap but just before completion at Camp corner her engine gave out and she came to a halt half way down the start finish straight leaving a rather large cloud of white smoke behind her. I believe the race leaders were about to lap her at the time.

Oh crumbs - what a day. It all ended a little differently than we both hoped for but as they say 'them's the breaks'.

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