In typical British fashion, it was a mixture of wet and dry for testing on Friday. Towards the end of Rebecca’s time on track, the tyres had gone through too many heat cycles. Rebecca was excited to get new rubber on the car. She says: “I scrubbed the new tyres in testing ready for the race weekend. Despite the MINI’s lively nature, the amount of grip you get from the Dunlop slicks in the dry and wets in the wet is incredible.”
On Saturday, the tricky conditions continued so Rebecca headed out for qualifying with wet tyres on the rear and slicks on the front of the car. It did start to dry out but the team made the decision to keep Rebeca out because there wouldn’t be enough time to get heat into the slicks part-way through such a short session.
Rebecca got a great start going into race 1. She kept calm and focussed throughout, resulting in her best finish yet in the MINI Challenge, P11. Just as the chequered flag was waved for the leaders, there was a big accident further back which caused a red flag to be waved. Because a number of cars had already passed the chequered flag before those marshals were aware of the severity of the accident, the red flag did not end the race. Instead, the cars were sent to parc ferme rather than completing a final lap where they’d usually wave to thank the marshals. Thankfully there were no serious injuries, which just goes to show how strong the modern MINI is.
Starting from 11th on the grid, with a number of usually-quicker drivers behind, Rebecca was ready to battle for position. The grid had been reduced to just 20 cars after the earlier incident, with a number of teams unable to repair their cars in time.
It was intermittently spitting with rain and Rebecca was thankful for her DENSO hybrid wiper blades, which kept the way ahead clear. The track as a whole was dry but very slippery on turn 1 and going into Druids but Rebecca remained calm in the tricky conditions. Relaxing in the driver’s seat but keeping just enough fire to be on pace, Rebecca was able to finish in P14.
That now puts Rebecca 21st in the driver standings. She says: “My goal is still to be in top 20. We will find out if that is possible at Donington, the last round of the season.”
Keep an eye out for the highlights from Oulton Park on Channel 4, and the full races on MotorsTV.
If you’d like to go and support Rebecca at Donington for the final round of the 2017 MINI Challenge season, you can buy tickets here.
Image by Marc Waller