Laura Tillett’s aim to bounce back strongly from her start-line accident at Brands Hatch three weeks ago was unfortunately pegged-back to some degree at Snetterton 300 Circuit over the weekend, 22nd/23rd August, when straight-line speed issues hampered an otherwise positive outing in the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup.
With her VW Golf GTi having been expertly repaired by the SlideSports team after sustaining substantial damage during the previous round, Sittingbourne racer Laura targeted a strong fightback during the penultimate event of the season and did come away with a best finish of 15th in race one.
The story of the weekend for the 24-year-old, though, was a consistently frustrating problem with a lack of straight-line speed which meant, despite two superb starts in rounds 13 and 14, she wasn’t able to capitalise in the pair of longer-than-usual 30 minute contests at the Norfolk track.
“We’re really good through the twisty stuff but in a straight-line there was nothing I could do to stop people pulling away from me, or catching me”, said Laura, “It’s not been ‘racing’ this weekend for us as everything I’ve been able to earn through the corners and on the brakes, when we get onto the straights the cars just pull away from me.”
“I think there’s definitely been an improvement in my driving this weekend, and also with the handling of the car and the rotation. My starts were quite good in both races, but we couldn’t build on them with this problem – it was worse with the races being longer as well this weekend. Overall there is a definite improvement, just no pace on the straights so both races were very hard work.”
Having to settle for 20th position on the grid for Sunday morning’s contest, round 13, the Kent racer made a fantastic getaway from the line to begin picking up places on the run into Riches for the first time and by the end of lap one she was in 16th place.
Smartly working her way into the top 15 ahead of the VW Golf of Simon Andrews on lap three, as the field began to get more and more spread out she wasn’t able to use her pace through the twisty, technical sections to her advantage. Despite the gap over her pursuers significantly reducing throughout the contest, Laura just had enough in hand to retain 15th position to the flag.
Round 14, which was televised live on Motors TV, was harder work for the 24-year-old but she did initially make the most of her improved top 15 starting slot to gain two places on the first lap. Soon edged back to 14th position, Laura was eventually pushed back to 17th spot before the chequered flag on lap 14 with no way of defending on the straights.
Despite her disappointment with the end results, the first year saloon car racer still managed to climb up two places in the championship into 17th position with only one event remaining now on the 2015 calendar.
There are only three weeks to wait until the season finale of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup, at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit in Leicestershire, over the weekend 12th/13th September.