Laura had been out testing the Monday before the race weekend at Silverstone to learn the International circuit and also get more feel for the car. Along with some onboard coaching from Tony Gilham and a different car, Laura’s times and confidence had improved massively throughout the day. Her lap times were looking good enough to easily be in the top ten and with the possibility of even a top 6. She left on the Monday feeling very confident and ready.
The extremely wet official test day came around, and although her session was canceled due to a oil spill, Laura was confident that the next day she would be competitive.
It was a long wait for Laura on the Saturday as she waited around until 4o’clock for qualifying. A nervous but excited Laura, left the pit lane and put into practice all that she had learnt the pervious Monday. Unfortunately something wasn’t right, the engine power was generally down and had no drive off the corners, killing her momentum down the straight. It was a near 10 seconds of the pace.
Laura came in feeling deflated and determined to find the problem. “We had found that the piston rings had broken leaving the engine with no compression, not good!”
The team fixed the engine by swapping it with another engine and Laura was able to make it out for her first race on the Sunday Morning.
Laura left the pit lane and noticed the engine was making popping and banging noises with a small power loss. “I wasn’t sure what the problem was so whilst the grid went for another green flag lap, I pulled into the pits to get the team to check over the car. The breather had come loose, and so the team re-fixed the pipe and I was then made to start in the pit lane.”
Waiting for the grid to come past and also the two at the back with a ten second penalty, Laura ended up nearly 20 second behind the pack. Thanks to the greasy circuit, she managed to catch back up and regain some positions finishing 20th out of 28.
Laura still wasn’t convinced that everything was right on the car as she could feel a dead spot in the engine power from 3rd to 4th gear. Once she explained this to the team they were sure it was because of the mapping not fitting the new engine. Unfortunately there was nothing they could do at the track and it meant that Laura would have to go out in the last race with the same issue.
Race two, the sun came out and the track was dry, Laura got a great start and made places that put her in the mix for around 14th. But before she knew it, the problem had arisen and she dropped back down the grid.
“All the places I had made within the start had drove back past me like I was standing still. It was so painful to experience as the straights are were so long, and it was difficult to hold people back. I did fight to keep 16th place and although I had drove my best to keep my position I was still disappointed as I had expected big things for that weekend but it just weren’t falling into place.”
“I would like to thank Team Hard for working so hard to change over the engines on the Saturday night, to Sticky George for whipping me up some decals quickly, and everyone else who supported me throughout the weekend.”