The Thursday test session at Oulton Park went well with Rebecca bringing her lap times down and keeping up with the field. Friday wasn’t so beneficial with a number of red flags halting the on-track action. Rebecca only had limited time on the damp circuit.
Going into Saturday’s qualifying session Rebecca was focused, but some confusion over new camera regulations meant Rebecca’s MINI was held back in the holding area right at the start of the session. She was unable to get her fast laps in which meant she had to start race 1 from the back of the grid, P30. The qualifying for the MINI Challenge decides the starting order so the chance to put in some quick flying laps is vital. It was a good day for Rebecca’s team Exceler8 Motorsport as her teammates qualified 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
From her starting position, Rebecca could not see the starting lights but she heard the race receiver when the lights went out and got a great start, overtaking some competitors straight away. She had a great battle with F4 driver Mohammed Nalwalla in the number 21 car. He’s a quick single-seater racer so battling against him made for some exciting racing.
It was a great race with no spins or accidents. Many of the drivers made the choice to run on slick tyres, which was the right decision because the drying conditions were perfect for slicks thus enabling more pace for those who made this decision. Rebecca finished 28th in the first race and was on wet tyres.
In race 2, Rebecca got another good start with lots of fun battles and close racing. During the battling, she kept Kevin O’Connor behind her despite his best efforts. She finished 23rd.
This is a hugely competitive championship with Rebecca racing against the likes of Charlie Butler-Henderson, Jeff Smith (who also drives in the British Touring Car Championship) and his son Brett, James Turkington (brother of British Touring Car driver Colin Turkington), as well as Will and Henry Neal (sons of another British touring car star, Matt Neal).
Rebecca says: “The weekend didn’t start brilliantly but the JCW MINIs are so much fun. I had a great time and can’t wait for the rest of the season. Thank you to Exceler8 Motorsport!”
The next race of the season takes place at Rockingham on 29/30 April alongside British GT. You can buy tickets here.