Ipswich and Northampton, June 2018

First time at Ipswich (Jayracemedia pic)

Really excited to race at Ipswich as I have never raced here in anything before! My dad looked horrified when I reminded him that I hadn’t raced my mini or V8 here and proceeded to try and tell me how to drive the track!

I am a bit anxious though, my car wasn’t so good at Buxton and I did struggle with it all meeting, so I am a bit worried that it’ll be the same again!

I went out for my first heat and the car felt fast. However, I was struggling to keep up with everyone else. I finished out of the top 10 which I was a little bit disappointed with as the car felt okay but just not fast enough to keep up with everyone else? I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with the car and therefore didn’t know what I could do to improve for my next heat.

When I got out of my car my dad could see that I was a bit disappointed, he came over to me and said to look around at all the other cars in the pits, and then look back at mine. He said he was so proud for what I have achieved in a car which maybe isn’t on par with most of the other cars out there! Especially around Ipswich, it is a really fast track and dad said that I went well in what I was in! It made me feel a bit better but I knew that I was in for a bit of a disappointing night!

I went out for Heat 2 and on the first bend I was fenced by a red top… nice! I was at the very back when I got going again and finished the race without a place but wasn’t too bothered as I had gone to the back!

I went out for the Final and was fenced again… why me?! This knocked my power steering belt off and when I continued I could hardly steer the car. I tried to carry on and wanted to finish the Final but at the same time I was thinking how much my arms would hurt afterwards and how much it would hurt to race at Northampton the following day! I decided to pull off as I was at the back anyway and with no power steering I wasn’t really going anywhere anyway!

The Grand National was probably the best race for me. It was the race in which I felt the fastest, and I did finish but without a place.

I really can’t wait to go back to Ipswich with my new car and see what a difference it makes!

Keeping Dad at bay…… ! (Colin Casserley pic)

So as most of you will be aware, Northampton has recently changed from Tarmac to Shale. This is very exciting for me as I much prefer shale to tarmac and also, the sport needs more shale tracks!

Deane is doing a really great job with the track and drivers and spectators knew that it was still being worked on as it is new and it is really trial and error at the moment.

Today is quite important for me, this is my last chance to qualify for a semi-final. I am currently third reserve so I need a good handful of points to get me in. Not good news when I haven’t been doing so well lately!

I went out for my first heat and the track was really slippy. I could see that there were a few cars in quite a big pile up on the bend, I was coming down the straight and had the brakes on so that I would not hit a parked car, the race stopped as there was a track blockage! I continued and finished in 13th which I was quite happy with as it was 1 point which I so desperately needed!

The second heat was a bit better, I finished in ninth and the track was less slippy than it was in the first heat and felt much much better! That’s another few points in the bag for me!

I was a bit nervous for the Final because I knew I hadn’t scored enough points in my heats to qualify for a semi-final, so I knew I had to get a decent place in both the Final and the National! I finished 12th in the final which I was quite happy with really and again was a few more points.

Pictured from the onboard camera on Russell Cooper’s car. (Thanks Jordan!)

Before I went out for the National, I was told that I needed to get at least 12th to have enough points to get into a semi-final. 12th doesn’t seem too bad, but I was a bit nervous in case I didn’t finish or something went wrong on the car.

However, the National was the best race of the day! The car felt proper and I knew I was quick!

My race was nearly ruined when someone put my dad into the back of me, nearly spinning me out, I managed to hold it and continued…

I FINISHED IN SIXTH PLACE!!!

I have qualified for my first ever semi-final and I could not be happier!

I will be starting on the back row of a semi-final which is actually a really good place for me! Can’t wait!

I just want to say thank you to Deane Wood for everything he has put into the track and into our sport. Can’t wait to race there again and see how the track has come along.

Phoebe