Snetterton 2023

The first race weekend of the Monoposto 2023 season arrived cold and blustery at Snetterton.

The big question of the weekend was “Will it Rain?”.

To add to the excitement this year, we had the opportunity to race on both Snetterton layouts. With race 1 being on the 300 circuit and Sundays race 2 being on the 200 version of the track.

Among the multiple changes made for 2023, a move from using Pirelli tyres to Avon tyres was one of the more noticeable. This was a last-minute change, as we had the opportunity to get hold of a set of second hand, similar age use tyres, allowing us to run back to back comparisons. This change meant we were chasing our tails a bit in qualifying as far as set up.

Despite the Avon tyres defiantly working better in cooler conditions that the Pirellis, the set up didn’t allow Jamie to use them to their full potential. This left us all the way down in 15th overall, 10th in class and a lot of work to do…..the car seemed slow in a straight line and very much down on power.

Race 1 didn’t start much better than qualifying went, with Jamie stalling the car on the grid. Dropping all the way back to 23rd. Another car in our class also stalled of the grid. This led to some robust defending on Jamie’s part to hold position all the way round the first lap. The set-up changes for the Avons seemed to work, with progress through the field throughout the race. Ultimately leading to a slightly disappointing 13th overall and 8th in class.

Sunday started bright and dry. More setup changes overnight on the car for day two’s qualifying on the 200 circuit. This time a better qualifying than the day before but lack of power from our admittedly stock engine was really showing down the long back straight, with the 16th fastest top speed. Overall the car was 8th in class and 10th overall.

Between qualifying and the race, every eye was on the sky, with the sky clouding over and starting to darken. After spending an inordinate amount of time staring at weather radars the decision was made to plan for a wet race and set the car up accordingly. This decision proved to spot on as with not long before the race the heavens opened. With the track resembling a lake the cars went out for the start of the race. The first lap all that could be seen was a ball of spray but when the cars came around at the end of the first lap, Jamie was in 8th place overall and hunting down the pack in front. Even a quick pirouette at the first corner didn’t slow the car down much and by the end of lap 2, Jamie was right on the back of the leading pack. Sadly that is where the race ended. Given the treacherous conditions the race was red flagged and the cars brought in without a restart. As much as this was frustrating for the team, the officials certainly made the correct call. The race ended up with the car in 7th overall and 5th in class.

This was certainty not the ideal start to the season we had hoped for. The progress we had made over the winter only showing in the data, rather than in results. As a team we can see that progress showing however and we expect the results to come, just it wasn’t at cold blustery Snetterton this year. Silverstone comes next, with the largest single seater grid of the year anywhere in the country. This always provides some great racing and spectacle so we can’t wait!

Cause of lack of straight line speed….broken wire to throttle position sensor!