AMOC Intermarque Snetterton 300 2014

Going into the final race of the season 4 of us were still in with a chance of winning the overall championship and the teams championship would likely come down to Porsche vs Ferrari.

We had a great day of testing on Friday, going through race setup, qualifying runs and scrubbing in tyres for the race.

Saturday morning qualifying went very well, with a long circuit and pre scrubbed/pressure set tyres we decided to go for a continuous run and get in as many laps as possible with out a pit stop for pressure adjustment. This turned out to be a good decision as the fastest lap came on the final lap of qualifying. Setting a 2:14.3 this was the fastest we have ever been around the 300 layout at Snetterton. This put us 11th on the grid, pretty good considering how many 355’s and GT4 astons there were.

The start of the race was awful, who ever was on pole decided to not set a reasonable pace from the last corner to the rolling start, this meant we were flat out from russel corner to the braking zone at the first corner, completely removing a “racing start” from the equation. That made the first corner pretty dull, but the second corner we had caught up the others and managed to overtake at least 3 cars at the hairpin, (all of which re overtook us later on).

The first few laps were pretty frantic, with cars settling into their natural pace and moving up and down the order. We lost out to the quick James Guess 968 and a GT4 Aston pretty soon. The field seemed to bunch up behind the Tim Mogridge 355 as he was defending hard from a GT4 and 968. A gap at the quick corner Hamilton opened up and we went for it, but this put us on the outside for the slow hairpin immediately afterwards. A consequence of racing fair and not squeezing the 355 we were stuck on the outside and left with nowhere else to go and compromised exiting onto the long back straight allowing through the 968 of Steve Atkinson.

So around 10 minutes in we had all our championship rivals ahead, but close apart from Wayne Marrs who was well up the road now.

The next lap Wayne limped his 355 into the pits, so the championship was wide open again. With the bigger multiplier for the slower Porsche’s we could afford to sit just behind Tim in the 355, but really we needed to beat Steve in the 968. Reportedly the commentators announced at this point there was only 0.1point in the championship between all 3 of us.

We pitted at the earliest opportunity following into the pits the Atkinson 968. We matched each others pit stops and now the race was on to see who could be top of Class B at least and maybe snatch the championship away from Tim.

At this point we were able to follow Steve pretty closely, but unable to make a move as we were struggling up the straights, so we weren’t close enough in the braking zones. Normally a 964 would be quicker than a 968 on the straights, but we weren’t, something wasn’t right with the car. To keep up with Steve we were using all the curbs and some grass too, and this was causing problems with the knock sensor. The extra vibration from running on the grass was similar to the engine knocking, so it was retarding the ignition and cutting power, this was on top of the slow speed on the straights. This got very bad one lap so we dropped back from Steve and the plan changed to just nurse the car home. Then a couple laps later in stopped very suddenly and that was the race, the championship and the season over with.

This gave the championship win to Tim Mogridge in the 355 Ferrari and Steve Atkinson won class B in his 968, so well done chaps, but next year we’ll take those trophies off you both.