The inaugural meet of the new MSV GB4 Championship was at the famous Snetterton Circuit, held over the weekend of April 2-3. Laser Tools Racing were there with their all-female team of Logan Hannah and Chloe Grant.
Arriving at a new track for the first time on the Thursday for the first race weekend of the year and it’s snowing! Not the best of starts but after the snow stopped we were able to head out on track! It was a mixture of wet and dry all day, with the day being open pit-lane we managed to get a lot of running in and I started to gain more and more confidence around Snetterton.
Day 2 of testing started much the same as Thursday morning, little bit of snow had us out on wets for our first of four sessions of the day; it then was dry for the rest of the day! More good running with lots of race distance runs to be able to test the set ups on the cars, and condition Chloe and I as drivers to the full distance of a race around Snetterton.
After a lot of learning done over Thursday and Friday, I was happy to qualify on pace and had secured consistent enough laps to be able to start P8 in Race 1 and 2. Had to get to grips with the tyres and car over the session, and learn how to switch on and get a brand new slick in its optimal window in the short 15-minute qualifying session.
Unfortunately I stalled off the start and as a result of this lost loads of time. I then spent the whole race trying to claw back this lost time — I was able to catch some of the drivers but due to the stall I was unable to completely regain full concentration and get into a comfortable rhythm where I would be able to put in qualifying laps to be able to catch up to the pack I should have started in.
Starting from P8 again, a good warm up lap and mega start saw me get away and hold my position on track and try an challenge for positions on track until an electrical issue saw my Race 2 finish at the exit of turn 7 on lap one! Frustrating but dealing with lows like electrical issues and DNFs is all part of our sport and will make the highs feel that much better!
Race 3 is our reverse grid race from our fastest qualifying time, this saw me start in P3.
A mega start and half of the race spent pushing other drivers around and attempting to make my car as wide as I could, I resided back to 9th place, which is where our pace for the weekend would have seen us finish in the races.
Looking back over the first round of the GB4 Championship at Snetterton and what it threw our way, there are lots of positives to take away from this difficult weekend! Now with two weeks of downtime to be able to take a step away and come back stronger at Oulton Park, where last year we were able to push through the struggles and leave happy on Sunday afternoon with silverware! Looking to do that again with some mega results and more good seat-time in the car!
With a little snowfall during the week, testing across Thursday and Friday was challenging in the slippery conditions. However, we continued to put the laps in and it was helpful to get to grips with the handling of the car in those conditions — I’m sure we’ll need those notes at some point this season! But it cleared up for Friday’s afternoon session where I was able to push the car further.
By Saturday I had made steady progress and had confidence in the cold, dry conditions. I qualified 11th on pace with the cars in front, so I had a clear plan of what to achieve in Race 1.
In the first race I made places up to P8, however, a mistake of my own cost me a few positions and I finished where I started.
We had another shot at this on Sunday in Race 2, where I finished P8 from P11, continuing to close the gap in front.
I started race three from P11 again, however, I went into an overtake too hot and unfortunately made contact. Mine was the only car damaged and and meant I had to retire from the race. It wasn’t the result we were hoping for, and it certainly doesn’t reflect the hard work from the team and myself during the weekend.
I’ve taken away a lot of learning, making steady progress to get up to pace. The changing conditions have also given me a broader understanding of the car all within four quick days. I’m looking forward to round two of the championship at Oulton Park - a circuit I haven’t visited before, which I’ll be practicing over the next two weeks at home.
Thank you to Graham Brunton Racing for a flawless car all weekend, and to Laser Tools Racing, John Clark, and Charlie Reid for the support into GB4.