PEUGEOT SPECIALIST & RACE TEAM

Cadwell Park - Sunday 18th September.

Car 306 BTCC

Just over a year ago Cadwell park was the place where getting out the van I trapped my sciatic nerve causing the most ever pain that I have had!
I was hoping this weekend would end much better being as it was also my birthday weekend!

There had been heavy rain the day before so although the track was dry, the grass was still very wet and muddy. Qualifying started well and early on we were 2nd on the grid, but after 6 laps the red flags came out. Chase racings Clio had gone wide at the bottom of the Goose neck getting onto the grass, then they were just a passenger hitting the tyre wall side on. The car wasn't too bad and would be out again later but the tyre wall had been damaged so this would take 20mins to repair.
We all sat in the pits waiting, and finally we were told we could go out again but the was only about 10 mins left if that so not much time to get many laps in. I thought about just stay in the pits as I was 2nd on the grid with only Chase racing on pole, and at that time it wasn't clear their car would be out again. But Danny was now going out in the Integra so I thought Id give it a few more laps just to remind myself of the track.
Well the 1st lap was great, then I got a pretty clear track so picked up the pace. But coming into the top of the Goose neck the car just ran wide slightly getting 2 wheels onto the grass. Well that was it, as most will know the Goose neck at Cadwell is pretty steep and once 2 wheels got on the grass it just kept dragging the car off, it seemed to speed up down the hill! Wet grass meant no brakes, and no steering! I could see the barrier coming and had time to think "this is going to hurt"
Bang! I hit the barrier and the bottom so hard it broke off 4 barrier posts behind the tyre wall! Well it did hurt, but I got out quickly then soon realised my back wasn't great, so had to lay on the floor! The medic car was called and I was taken to the medical centre. I was given the all clear but told it would hurt a lot tomorrow.
At this time I had not seen the car but knew it wasn't going to be good!
Yep the poor thing had taken a big hit, it was upsetting that it was the BTCC car but good in a way as the cage is very strong so meant the car held up well. Still it looked a mess, the drivers suspension was all hanging off. The carbon bonnet was a total gonna! At least the engine looked ok and the suspension pick up point all looked to be good due to being linked to the cage! Needles to say it was game over, not a great day!
The delay fixing the barrier that I broke meant time was now short so the Tin tops race would now be a shorter one.

Race

It would be a 30mins race with the pit window open right from lap one. Chase racing had got their Clio repaired and were on pole.  Billy was in 2nd in the Corsa and he made a great start claiming the lead straight away. Tom Mensley pitted after the first lap along with Mark Livens, this turned out to be the best thing to have done! After 4 laps John Hammersleys Astra GTEs engine let go just as he crossed the line, David Stillard got a great picture of it with bits of engine flying out behind ! After a few laps, and although John had parked the Astra off the track, its fluids were leaking across the track. This was deemed unsafe so the safety car was called.
Billy and Nigel Ainge pitted as soon as the safety car came out, big mistake! They both got held at the end of the pit lane till the safety car came round so basically they lost a lap!
The safety came came in and Danny now taken over the wheel of Nigel's Integra and was flying, him and Billy had a great battle but Danny got past and was gone. But they were a lap down and had no chance of catching Tom and Mark who pitted early, so Tom lead and won a pretty easy race!

1st Tom Mensley Renault Sport Clio 172 fastest lap 1:42.480
2nd Mark Livens Honda Civic Type R fastest lap 1:43.608
3rd Paul Boulton Ford Fiesta ST 2000 fastest lap 1:46.989