We arrived at Donington with our usual optimism, we know the track quite well and were once again hopeful of a strong finish. Things didn’t things didn’t exactly get off to a good start though and after only 1 lap round in qualifying, the driver’s side outer CV joint failed. This would explain the tugging feeling we felt at the previous race at Spa! The smallest of holes in the boot had caused the CV joint to dry out and it eventually just ceased solid.
Rob had pulled the car off the track on the other side of the circuit at McLeans corner and spent the rest of the qualifying session watching from there. Once the session was over and Rob returned to the pits with the car, it didn’t take us long to identify the problem. We then went hunting around the paddock for a spare shaft. Paul Anderton was kind enough to lend us one of his.
After essentially only completing the out lap, we found ourselves starting from the back of the grid in 34th! The bad luck seemed to have also spread to the other Clios; 5 of the 8 entrants to our class had crashes or failures of some description, the worst being a barrel roll, writing the car off. Tom Mensley in the number 80 Clio had a coolant hose come off which the marshals interpreted as fire and decided to douse his car in powder. Needless to say, he didn’t enjoy cleaning that up.
And so to the race. Ryan started and predictably made some good progress through the pack. Starting from the back can be more fun, especially on a track like Donington, but it can massively reduce any chance of getting to the front.
After the pit stop, Rob found himself in 9th place overall. A quiet 2nd half to the race saw Rob hold his position all the way to the end. A retirement for Paul Mensley near the end resulted in a final position of 8th overall, 3rd in Class B.