Despite all expectations, Sunday 22nd August at Cadwell was very warm and sunny. Quite a difference to the previous day during which Karen and Richard travelled up to Lincolnshire. Although Karen's own car needs a new rollcage to get through scrutineering, she'd been offered a drive in the Tengu Do Motorsport car!
Martin White, proprietor of Tengu Do Motorsport and usual driver of Subaru cup car #29 had ben injured in a previous race and had been advised not to compete. He kindly offered the drive and race support to Karen for the Cadwell meeting. Karen and Richard were very grateful for the opportunity. The car was quite a departure from Karen's being lighter, lower geared, more RWD bias, and probably had a bit more power.
Karen's first real opportunity to drive the car came in qualifying and as Richard and the Tengu Do crew watched from the stand at the Mountain she seemed to be on the pace straight away. As the session was drawing to a close they were all shocked to hear the tannoy commentary screaming about Karen spinning like a top!! Everyone held their breath, but she soon re-appeared at speed without any discernable damage. Phew!
Karen had qualified in 13th place for Race 1, and last of the Subaru Cup runners. Given how quick she seemed to be going it was disappointing news. The race started with Karen getting baulked by other cars, and losing places to some rapid starting MR2s from behind her on the grid. Most of the race saw her claiming back these places and thanks to a DNF ahead she finished 12th overall. Karen had endured a couple of off track excursions which resulted in her being called in front of the Clerk of the Course...
Nippon Challenge Race 1 Cadwell 22/08/10 from Richard Senter on Vimeo.
During the break between races, the Tengu Do Motorsport crew worked hard on the car to remove as much weight as possible within the regulations after learning of an adjustment to the rules. The minimum weight had been dropped from 1250kg to 1200kg. That was news to Richard and Karen too. Nice to be told, eh?
The result of Race 1 meant that Race 2 saw Karen starting in 12th, next to Nick Jones in his MR2. Again, Karen was baulked badly, especially by MX5 of Jonathan Blake who in turn had been blocked by the poorly starting Buddy Club Honda of Paul Hughes. Again the MR2s found space and beat Karen into the first corner. Race 1 repeated itself and Karen spent a long while catching and passing the MR2s. She finished 10th overall.
Nippon Challenge Race 2 Cadwell 22/08/10 from Richard Senter on Vimeo.
Karen had missed out on a Subaru Cup podium position, but everyone was really happy that she'd done so well in a car she wasn't used to. Not only that, but she'd managed to return the car to its owner without any kind of damage whatsoever.
It's possible that Karen will be out in #29 again at Mallory Park in September, but hopefully Martin will be recovered sufficiently to drive his own car...