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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

2017 Snetterton Stages Rally supported by G.& B. Finch Ltd, Hylton Gott and Rix Engineering

On Sunday a near full entry of 83 cars enjoyed the unseasonably good weather conditions at Snetterton race circuit just South of Norwich. This area having strong connections to team Lotusbits, due to the nearby Lotus factory at Hethel.
These events are very competitive and anyone chasing a good result cannot afford to be too cautious. Mike was pushing from the start of the very first stage, expecting rather more grip than was available in the first high speed corner on the main circuit. This meant the car spun off on to the grass , losing around 30 seconds and placing Mike and Martin a disappointing 33rd overall.
At a venue such as Snetterton, the organisers have to make sure that the competitors do not exceed the permitted 75 mph maximum average speed. Their method of achieving this was to build chicanes from old tyres, with three of these just on the Bentley Straight. The combination of frequent braking from high speed and the smooth surface encouraged Mike to change the damper settings, making the car more stable under braking. This and some determined driving saw the team recover to 11th overall going into the final pair of stages, which would run in darkness for the later competitors.
The pressure of rapid down changes proved too much for the gear linkage at the approach to the final chicane on stage 7, with this key component breaking and leaving the car stuck in first gear. Fortunately this was only a mile from the stage finish, but lost around another 30 seconds. It was also fortunate that some inspired work under pressure by the service crew meant that the car was completely fixed within the permitted service time. A competitive run through the final stage resulted in a final positon of 13th overall.
The team are looking forward to the next event in the MSVR championship at Donington in just under two weeks’ time.

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