Race Report – Snetterton 11th April

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The first race of the 2015 season saw Karen and Richard returning to Snetterton to race on the 300 circuit configuration. They practised on the day before the racing and things were going well. Hopes were high for a good result.

Race day dawned damp and drizzly. The decision was taken to qualify on the Federal FZ01 race tyres but as Karen waited to go out onto the circuit the heavens opened with a massive downpour. The tyres would be fairly useless in such an amount of water. The only option was to switch the car into full 4WD with the diffs locked 50/50.

Despite the poor performance of the tyres, the diffs kept the car (mostly) on the tarmac. Understeer was much greater but the car was predictable and when the power was applied it was shared out and didn't overwhelm the rear tyres to cause a spin. Ultimately, they qualified 28th out of 37 on the grid. Still not a sparkling performance, but nowhere near last. Their class competition was in the form of Richard Hayes' Toyota Celica GT4. He had a better qualifying session and began in 18th place.

The race had a rolling start and Richard took this. Within half a lap he'd passed several cars and had caught up with the Celica GT4. Thinking the race was going his way, Richard was stunned when the Celica simply romped off into the distance along the back straight. Slowly but surely he would track it down again, only to suffer with wayward handling each time he got close.

It transpired later that the Celica was dropping coolant onto the track, and began to overheat. It went in for its pit stop and never returned to the track. This meant that Karen simply had to finish the race to achieve a class win. That she certainly did with style, holding off the advances of Nick Sanderson in his rapid Sea Leon Turbo.

A great result for the team, but it looks there's stiff competition in Richard Hayes' Toyota Celica GT4 when it runs without trouble...

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About Karen Phillips

  • Karen races her Impreza WRX in the Classic and Sports Car Club (CSCC) Modern Classics series, with her husband Richard as a 2nd Driver. The races are mini-endurance events involving a driver-swap. Karen has previously raced in the Nippon Challenge, a race series for Japanese and Asian cars. Karen has been racing since 2006, having started in the MR2 Challenge.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Karen's progress through the season and developments with her race car.

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