UK: Tippet Racing VW Cup Brands Hatch summary

Claire Tippet: Feeling The Strain At The Season Finale Claire Tippet (Cheltenham) came away from the final round of the VW Racing Cup feeling more than a little frustrated. Held at Brands Hatch, Kent, the season finale fielded the year's largest...

Claire Tippet: Feeling The Strain At The Season Finale

Claire Tippet (Cheltenham) came away from the final round of the VW Racing Cup feeling more than a little frustrated. Held at Brands Hatch, Kent, the season finale fielded the year's largest grid with 30 VW cars of various models taking the start. Claire took to the grid in the series' oldest Golf and sadly the ageing engine was showing signs of strain.

"It is time for the engine's retirement" says Claire. "We have obviously worked on a tight budget which has limited development this year but that hasn't stopped me giving 101%. This weekend during qualifying there were some glimmers of hopes as I took over 1.5seconds off my best time from testing the day before but the car hit its threshold. The engine is getting older and I pushed it to its very limits but was disappointed I could only qualify in 27th, I would have hoped for better."

Race One went on Sunday morning (3rd October) in cloudy but dry conditions. "I made a good start" recalls Claire, "an incident to the inside saw cars bunch up and I could easily take the outside line and made up something like four places very quickly. Then suddenly I came on to the back straight to be faced with a car park! The safety car had been deployed and had stopped on track. A Caddy behind me was equally shocked, narrowly missed hitting me and ended up on the grass!"

The race was restarted after a couple of laps behind the safety car and Claire soon found her lack of power left her trailing. Disappointment was to follow when her brakes locked and sent her bailing into the gravel trap, bringing her race to a premature end.

The gravel caused some minor damage to the car which was sorted before the afternoon's second race but from the onset Claire knew it would be a race of attrition for her Golf.

"There was very little power" Claire says, "and the car became very unpredictable. The engine was misfiring and it was very fluffy. At times it just purely chugged! But, I was determined I was going to finish the final race of the season so I trundled on and tried not to get in the way. It was a disappointing way to end what has otherwise been a great debut season for me but I suppose that is the reality of motor racing!"

Claire will now use the winter to finalise plans for her 2005 campaign, in which series has yet to be confirmed. "Together with my management team at Action Resources Limited, I am looking at a number of options for next season which I am very excited about" says Claire.

-ctm-

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Series Road racing