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Racing Report

Knockhill, Fife, Scotland - July 24/25th 1999

Driver : Denise Manderscheid, Car No: 21
Comment : Started 22nd Finished 15th out of 26 starters

Qualifying: At 1.3 miles in length the circuit is very short but what it lacks in distance it more than makes up for in other ways. With several blind corners, dips, chicane and a hairpin this was one circuit which certainly has a bite. In testing the day before I had managed to do a 1.12 sec lap - a full 5 seconds off the leader. My challenge for qualifying was to better that. It had stopped drizzling by mid morning and so the track was drying out helped by the strong wind.

With only 15 minutes for qualifying it was a case of get out there and get stuck in straight away. On my 4th lap I managed a 1 min 11 sec lap time good enough to get me 22nd on the grid. On the final 3 laps of the 15 minute session I cam across my team mate Jason and we happily spent the next couple of laps with me generally following him around except when he slid off once and I got passed him - but not for long.

The Qualifying Race:

By mid-morning on Sunday when we formed up on the grid the rain had at least stopped, there was a bit of a wind blowing and the track had dried nicely - actually not bad conditions. The conditions were to stay good for the rest of our race.

As the lights turned to green we all charged ahead uphill to Duffus Dip a right hander leading sharply down hill to Mcintyre another right hander before the run up and over a blind hill to the chicane. From the chicane it was then straight down to via Brabhams to Clark and then on down to the hairpin at Taylors. From the hairpin it was back up to the start/finish straight just before Dufus Dip.

There were a few casualties along the way but the majority of us (including me) lived to do another lap. As usual there was a right royal fight going on at the front and further back in the pack was not much different.

Towards the end of the race I caught up with Paul Francom and he and I charged up past the pits to Duffus Dip. With Paul on the outside and me beside him we entered Duffus two abreast - not the best of things to do as Duffus lives up to its name and falls away quite sharply to the right before a left hander at the bottom of the hill.

As I crested the hill I suddenly felt that maybe I should just tuck in behind Paul rather than try to beat him down the hill - a sensible move I probably wouldn't have made it to the bottom in one piece had I stayed alongside him. I made more attempts to get past Paul before the chequered flag but it was not to be.

Afterwards in the paddock Paul came up to me and said: "Were you really planning to overtake me there? You're mad……" I always though that was a pre-requisite to race!

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