FIRST CORNER INCIDENT COLLECTS DEBRIS
Pippa Mann had it all to do from 21st position, but Race One from Spa was ruined for the young British driver almost as soon as it had began, when she collected debris at a first corner incident. Hampered by poor handling and massive understeer, Mann fought throughout the race to keep the P1 Motorsport car on the circuit, and coupled with a mid-race pitstop to check for damage, she eventually crossed the finish line in 16th place.
As the lights went out Mann got a good start off the line, and headed down towards La Source, the notorious hairpin before the long straight up through Eau Rouge. With 26 WSR 3.5 cars all trying to fit through the turn, the inevitable happened and a number of cars collided. Mann managed to avoid the confusion, and continued on to finish the first lap in 18th position. However the car was not handling well and Mann was having difficulty turning into the corners, finding the car's understeer at times unmanageable. On lap five she came into the pits and the team tried to assess whether or not she had sustained damage at the first corner. With nothing clearly visible, she stepped back out onto the track and continued fighting the car around the circuit.
Finally crossing the line in 16th position, it was only when the car was back in the garage that the team could see the problem - someone's front wing was lodged beneath Mann's World Series machine. This debris caused the front of Mann's car to be slightly raised, enough to move the front tyres off the ground which was the reason for the understeer.
Speaking about the race, Mann said: "I didn't know why I couldn't take Eau Rouge flat or what the problem was - all I knew was that the car was incredibly difficult to drive and I almost put it in the wall a couple of times. Knowing what I do now, I'm very pleased to have finished the race, and starting from 16th on the grid tomorrow is not a bad result considering."
-credit: pippa mann