Car damage at Snetterton
Ever wondered what sort of car damage would be caused by a tyre stack? Well, at the Snetterton 300 in June we found out.
Matt Pollard is an aspiring racing driver in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship. We have been following his progress since 2018 when Car Magic and Non-Fault Car Accident Repair became one of his sponsors. Catch up on the story so far on our Motorsport page.
At the end of June Matt was in Norfolk for a race weekend in Snetterton. He’d tested there earlier in the year and was confident he would do better than last year. In 2018 at Snetterton Matt described the weekend as a ‘learning experience’. He hasn’t felt fully confident on the circuit due to a particular sector in which there are two awkward braking zones. The braking for ‘Nelson’ and ‘Murray’ require turning and braking at the same time. This isn’t ideal and takes some practice. During the first test session Matt worked on this. He then felt like he was in sync with the track more than ever before. Now he just needed to find some more speed.
Car damage at Snetterton
Looking at the footage of his first test drive, Matt spoke with Jack Sycamore from AB Motorsport. Heading out for the second session he had some pointers to help him find time and a better overall lap. Putting these tips into practice started well and a few laps in Matt was happy with how it was going. However, he then saw the in-board held up by Jack to get him into the pits. At this point, Matt should have eased off the pace and slow down for the in-lap. Unfortunately, he continued at race pace and hit a tyre stack on the inside of ‘Hamilton’. This was a complete shock. Matt thought he wasn’t close enough to actually hit it. The impact proved to be quite hard and the car shot sideways after contact to the nearside front wing.
Having corrected the slide he was now facing the wrong way on the track! He needed to move fast for the session to continue. Matt nursed the car around to the inside of ‘Williams’ and sat on the grass contemplating how he had managed to cause the car damage.
Quick repair from AB Motorsport
Thanks to the AB Motorsport team the car was patched up for the next session but Matt was feeling like the weekend ahead of him was going to be tough. The testing day got warmer and the times slower. Heading into qualifying Matt hadn’t really set a decent benchmark time. For qualifying Matt knew where the time to gain was and used his experience to perform at his best for the session. He started to brake later for ‘Nelson’ and ‘Murray’ which paid off and got him to 8th in the session. This increased his confidence and pushed him on. He finished qualifying feeling happy and pleased with his recovery after the run-in with the tyre stack!
The racing begins
For race one Matt started in 16th. He knew he needed a good start if he was to make up ground. He was next to Lewis Cannon. Lewis got off to a great start and though Matt was fast, it wasn’t enough. In the first lap, Matt was up against Jack Moody and Callum Greatrex who were pressuring from behind. He followed Jack Moody for the next few laps but he defended well and Matt couldn’t get ahead. He then caught up to Stuart Symonds who is another AB Motorsport driver.
Should Matt take a risk and pass Stuart? He had opportunities but wasn’t sure if the risk was worth it. He waited until a less risky opportunity came down the ‘Bentley’ straight into ‘Nelson’ and took it. Then later in the race, he was able to also pass Richard Baxter to finish in 15th position. In his post-match chat with Jack from AB Motorsport, it became clear that Matt should have taken opportunities before he did. It’s all a learning curve and racing against a teammate brings its own challenges for a driver. Matt was mindful of the events of Cadwell Park and was focused on a clean and consistent finish this weekend.
Pushing speeds at times of over 100mph you can see the in-car video from Matt’s first race via Youtube.
Another start in 15th
The second race saw Matt start in 15th and get away from the hectic grid to passed Jack Moody on the ‘Bentley’ straight. Fellow AB Motorsport racer Stuart held the front of a train ahead of him, which Matt was able to use to create a gap from the cars behind. After a previous attempt to get by Lewis Cannon into ‘Agostini’ had been defended well, Matt passed Lewis Cannon on the ‘Bentley’ straight. He was able to then focus on closing the gap between himself and Ben Hancy. Now at the back of the pack, he was behind Stuart and this time focused on passing his teammate on the inside of ‘Agostini’.
A final move to pass Ben Hancy left Matt defending his 13th position for the rest of the race. He was closing the gap on Marcus Bailey but didn’t have the pace to match this time. Watch the racing action from Matt’s in-car video.
The final race at Snetterton
Car damage now a distant memory as Matt finishes the weekend with three top 15 finishes and good points on the board. The final race at Snetterton saw Matt starting in 13th. Unfortunately, a bad start left him hanging on to 15th position for the final race of the weekend. Watch race 3 at Snetterton via Youtube.
At Car Magic and Non-Fault Car Accident Repair we’re following Matt’s progress through the racing season and think he’s doing a great job in the Mazda MX-5. As car body repair specialists we are good people to know, but we hope there’s no more car damage as Matt continues in the BRSCC Championship of 2019. Our next update will be from his racing weekend at Oulton Park.
For advice and 5* car body repair please call us on 01442 864022 or upload a photo using our estimate form and we’ll come back to you within 24 hours.
For more information about our accident management services visit www.nonfaultcaraccidents.co.uk.