Dawn Boyd from Andover made the long trip to Pembrey circuit in South Wales over the weekend for the latest rounds of this season’s Dunlop Great & British Mini Challenge races.
Dawn races in the club class of the challenge and shares the track with the faster S class cars during the races. It would be a busy schedule for Dawn with 2 qualifying sessions on Saturday morning followed by 2 races each day. Pembrey is the home of the Welsh motorsport centre, the circuit measures nearly one and a half miles in length and features very fast straights with some tight corners.
A heavy storm on Friday night meant that Dawn was greeted with a damp circuit for the 1st qualifying session making good lap times tricky. At the end of the 1st session Dawn was 6th in class for race 1 and 8th for race 2. The track was starting to dry out in places when Dawn had her 2nd qualifying session and this resulted in 7th in class for race 3 and 5th for race 4. There were 22 cars that would be starting the races.
Race 1 was held on Saturday afternoon and the sun was now shining so the track was dry and fast. It would be 20 minutes with a standing start. Dawn made a good clean start and was soon in the huge pack of Minis going around the first tight hairpin. The race settled down and Dawn was safely in the chasing pack of cars behind the leading group. As the chequered flag was taken Dawn had finished 4th in class, equalling her best result so far.
Another 20 minute race was held late in the afternoon. Another good start meant that Dawn was once again in the pack around the fast circuit. Within a couple of laps the race settled down. The car was going well and Dawn was driving well without mistakes. Dawn was hit once by an S-class car on a fast bend but managed to control it and came home 6th in class.
Sunday morning brought clear skies and sunshine to the welsh circuit. The 1st race of the day was another 20 minute race for Dawn. Once again a good clean start for Dawn who was soon up with the leading cars. About half way through the race an incident on the circuit meant the safety car was. The race was eventually ended behind the safety car and Dawn finished 6th in class.
Dawn’s last race of a busy weekend would have a rolling start. As the cars went across the start line the massive pack was very close at the 1st corner. Dawn was right in the middle and was bumped by a car losing her some places. A few laps into the race Dawn’s brakes failed as she entered a corner at over 80mph, she struggled to turn but ended up in the tyre wall which ended Dawns race prematurely.
Dawn will now move onto Croft circuit near Darlington in a few weeks for the next rounds of this year’s mini challenge.
“The Advent Motorsport mechanics will have to work their magic on this one!”.. reports Dawn. It was a sad end to a great weekend but she is still up-beat, if a bit bruised and looking forward to the next races.