The first round of the Classic Sports Car Club (CSCC) Turbo Tin Tops Series has been and gone, and what an eventful one it was. This opening round took place at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Saturday 6th April, which is a circuit that has largely been kind to us.
We started the weekend with a brand new livery, thanks to our title sponsors The Bucket Manufacturing Company, and after a recent rebuild, we hoped our Mini would stay as pristine as it started!
Sadly, the weekend didn’t start as well as we had hoped. We missed testing on the Friday, due to the rebuild of the car following the Donington accident, which didn’t leave much time. Despite this, we planned to use the Saturday morning track session to hopefully be where we needed to be ahead of the race.
With that in mind, our aim was to use the qualifying session to perfect the set-up of the car and to allow Sean and Daniel to get a feel for the car following the rebuild. It had been 11 years since Sean last raced at Snetterton, and there have been some changes to the circuit within that time. The plan was for Daniel to complete a maximum of four laps, to understand the changes that had been made to the Mini during the rebuild, whilst Sean would use the rest of the session to re-learn the circuit
However, it was a case of best laid plans. An airlock in the cooling system put paid to our schedule, only allowing us to complete one lap in total, courtesy of an overheating engine. Luckily the amount of time between qualifying and the race meant we had time to fix the issue, although it also meant we had to line up in 17th and last place on the grid. With the class leader on pole and the rest of the cars in our class within the top 10 on the grid, we certainly had our work cut out.
Sean took control of the first stint, and after cleverly avoiding the melee in front of him, he weaved his way through the pack to sit in eighth place overall, and third place in class, by the end of the first lap. With the first half of the race done and dusted, Sean pitted to hand over to Daniel for the final stint. It was a second half filled with tension and hope, when Daniel set his sights on seventh place lap after lap he closed the gap but he narrowly missed out by just half a second.
Given the difficulties we have faced in the last few weeks, and even at Snetterton, we certainly can’t complain with eighth overall and third place in class. That’s another trophy for the mantelpiece. The next round takes place at Silverstone on Saturday 4th May. Given the pace we clearly had during the race, the whole team is hopeful of a strong result next time out. We’ve got to build on our third place – we want that winner’s trophy.