Home track success for Lydia Walmsley at Snetterton
With a tenth place in the televised race 3, Lydia Walmsley secured her best ever Mini Challenge JCW results at her home track in Snetterton and moved up to 10th place in the overall championship standings.
Lydia Walmsley maintained her strong start to the Mini Challenge JCW season with three strong results at Snetterton, including two top-10 finishes. The highlight of her weekend was a tenth place result in the televised race three, running as high as ninth, while setting the seventh fastest race lap to underline her pace. These results mean Lydia moves up to 10th place in the overall championship standings as the season nears the halfway mark.
The first on-track action of the weekend began on Friday with two scheduled test sessions. With the weather set fair across the meeting in contrast to the opening two rounds of the season, any data gathered would be meaningful for the three races which lay ahead. In the first session, Lydia completed 14 laps with her best time placing her in 17th. Making good improvements in session two, Walmsley improved on her fastest lap by over a second to finish the session 11th fastest.
Qualifying took place on Saturday morning with Lydia aiming to build upon her strong one-lap pace from Brands Hatch. Immediately beating her testing benchmark, Walmsley sat eighth fastest at the halfway mark of the session. As drivers continued to improve in the closing stages, Lydia’s best lap of 2:03.867 was narrowly beaten by her rivals which resulted in a 14th place result. Nonetheless, this time was over one and a half seconds faster than the previous day, in addition to being quicker than her qualifying time from last year.
Due to a penalty for a driver ahead, Lydia lined up 13th on the grid for race one and made a good start, holding her position after the first lap. The first half of the race was characterised by close battles, with Walmsley fighting hard to overtake Thomas Jack Lee and James Griffith. After dropping to 14th on lap five, Lydia was able to move forward in the closing stages, passing both Josh Porter and Jamie Osborne to move into 12th, a position she was able to maintain until the checkered flag.
Although Walmsley narrowed missed out on the top-10, she collected points for 11th with guest driver Sam Weller ineligible to score championship points. Crossing the line just three seconds behind ninth place, Lydia aimed to make further progress in race two and restart her top-10 streak.
Starting the second race from 12th based on the finishing positions from race one, Walmsley made a good start and improved to 11th by the end of the opening lap. From there, she defended hard from Osborne before a hard-charging Lee moved ahead on lap four after he set the fastest lap of the race. On lap five, Lydia moved back into 11th position before spending the second half of the race fighting off Barry Ward.
She defended brilliantly to keep Ward behind her while setting fast lap times which allowed her to inherit 10th place at the checkered flag following a time penalty for a driver ahead of her, collecting ninth place points. This was a welcome result and underlined her speed from the opening two rounds of the season.
Lining up on the fifth row of the grid for the final race of the weekend, Walmsley found herself involved in a number of typically close battles in the opening stages of race three. Dropping to 13th by the end of lap two, Lydia knew she had the pace to move forward as the final 20 minute contest progressed. Passing Lewis Selby on lap four and Ward on lap six, Walmsley’s pace was matching that of the podium runners as she moved into 11th position.
On lap seven she entered the top-10, moving into ninth a lap later when the race was then curtailed by a late red flag which ended the contest. This was especially unfortunate as Lydia’s pace in the second half of the race was particularly strong as she closed down on the drivers ahead and was in position to challenge for a season’s best result. Her pace was underlined by the fact she set the seventh fastest lap in race three, just three tenths of a second away from the second fastest driver.
With race results taken from the lap prior, Walmsley was classified tenth and scored ninth place points following guest driver and reigning champion Weller being ineligible to score.
Lydia once again showed excellent pace over the course of the weekend, securing her best ever Mini Challenge JCW results at her home track.
Walmsley has now finished inside the top-10 in seven of the first nine races, also maintaining her 100% finishing record this season. These consistent performances have elevated Lydia to 10th in the overall standings, 11th when dropped scores are taken into account.
The Mini Challenge JCW drivers will now take a short break before returning to action at Oulton Park on the weekend of 17th/18th June.