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Laura Harris Racing Main Image

 

Laura Harris Blog profile Image

By Laura Harris
March 29, 2017

Mighty Minis Championship 2017
Race 1 - Silverstone Blog

 

The weekend started on Friday with a long drive down to Northamptonshire with a quick pit stop to visit a customer at the Bicester Heritage Centre in Oxfordshire.

I Arrived at Silverstone around 4:30pm where there was some testing still going on, so I had a chilly wait around for an hour before I could get into the garages. But it’s a good opportunity to catch up with fellow racers having not seen them since the awards last November. It’s very rare that we get to use the garages at any circuit, but it was a real treat to get to use them at Silverstone with their shiny newly painted floors! To think how many Formula One teams and drivers have walked these floors!

 

Silverstone ciruit garages

Credit: Image from Laura Harris Racing https://www.facebook.com/lauraharrisracing/

 

As soon as the garages were free we moved in to bag the best spot! So I got to unloading the car, got settled in then went to put up my new tent. This turned out not to be the easiest thing to do especially in high wind with the light fading... this was something I’d later regret! Back at the garages we had dinner, which was actually a microwave meal, but seeing as we had power, bringing a microwave turned out to be one of my better ideas! We sat down for a while before heading off to bed in our tents. It was a beautifully clear night with not a cloud in the sky, however the temperature dropped and I've never been so cold in my entire life! Despite several layers of clothes, 2 sleeping bags and 2 blankets, I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

On Saturday morning and already fuelled up I only had the tyre pressures to adjust, followed by sign-on and scrutineering… "straight through, no problems, phew!"

 

Silverstone ciruit garages

Credit: Image from Laura Harris Racing https://www.facebook.com/lauraharrisracing/

 

Qualifying
I started steady as I hadn’t driven the car since last July, so just wanted to get back into the swing of things, and to get the tyres warmed up. I started building up the pace which felt quick. After the 20 minute qualifying session I came in to find that I’d qualified 15th out of 20. I was slightly disappointed with myself but I never qualify very well anyway. Interestingly my best time was on lap 3, whilst I was still taking it steady. It just goes to show that sometimes a careful lap can be the quickest!

Race 1
I started on the inside by the pit wall but managed a good clean start and kept straight to keep the inside line through the first corner (Copse). I dropped back a few places on the first lap but stayed with the middle pack and gradually fought my way through. Between five of us there was much toing and froing, all leading the middle pack at one time or another. Towards the end I took the lead of the middle pack and there was a comfortable distance between me and the car behind as we headed into the final lap. I just had to keep it on the black stuff! I took each corner as steady as I dare, whilst the cars behind slowly gained on me. Through the last corner the car behind was right on my tail but I took the line by one tenth of a second. It was a fantastic first race of the season, a hard fought battle throughout! After the race, I fuelled up and checked the car over. Earlier that day an ex Mighty Mini racer who had come to watch had said that my car was great because it never goes wrong... famous last words! I found the left hand CV joint was on its way out! With help from a couple of my fellow competitors/friends, we got it changed that evening. One hot meal later it was time for bed and back in in the cold tent again! With a few more layers this time and a hotwater bottle (that my dad had gone out and got me especially) meant that I slept slightly better on Saturday night! Sunday was soon upon us, so it was time for brekkie, a quick check of the tyre pressures and oil levels and we were ready for race 2.

Race 2
I completely fudged the gears at the start! First to second, then couldn’t get third so put it straight into forth, as I watched the cars in front disappear off! Unfortunately, I couldn't catch up enough to get passed for the majority of the race which was very frustrating, not to mention it gets a bit boring! well, as boring as you can get driving a car around the Silverstone circuit! Then one of the racer's Mick, spun in front of the group in front of me, slowing them all down.! 2 laps to go and I managed to get passed the next car. Last lap and he got passed me again! The two cars in front had a 2 car length lead on me through the final corner, but I got the draft and came up along side them, but didn’t quite make it. Just one 20th of a second between me and the car infront! I finished in 13th place.

So not a bad start to the season. Hopefully things will improve during the year. Next stop, Anglesey on the 22nd and 23rd April!

 

Silverstone ciruit garages

Credit: Image from Laura Harris Racing https://www.facebook.com/lauraharrisracing/

 

Follow my blog page for all of the race build ups and the races themselves throughout the season!

 

 

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