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23
Jun

New Look Rudd takes RCIB to Snetterton

So here we are at Snetterton for round 4 of the VW cup. Half way through the season already and it has been a steady start to my VW cup career. 

Snetterton is based in Norfolk and we will be using the 300 track. I was here last year with and got my best results – it is one of my favourite tracks to go to. 

Snetterton is about 2 hours away from me so I had to be up early to get to the track for 8am. Admittedly I was a tad late, about 15mins due to a breakfast stop en route! When I arrived I was greeted with the new livery on the car – as you can see it looks awesome and feels faster..! It would also be my first outing in the RCIB Insurance Racing car. 

We had 4 x 30minute sessions during the day so lots of track time. It was a really hot day which was tough on me and the car but I went faster in every session and ended up around 1 second off of last year’s pole time. It was a great confidence boost going into the race weekend knowing the improvements I could make in my driving and closing the gap to the top cars. 

As it was hot, the team put on a BBQ and loads of food for everyone to enjoy. The mechanics had some well deserved Fosters (other beers are available), the music was playing and the sun was shining – it was a really great way to end the day. We got back to the hotel around 9pm and it was straight to bed and to sleep. 

Saturday had qualifying at 2pm and race 1 at 5:30pm so it was an important day. We arrived around 10am allowing for some time to run through the data and video from the sessions yesterday and where I could make up the time for quali. 

Conditions were pretty similar to Friday, very hot, so there were minimal setup changes and just new tyres on the front. 

I wanted to try and tag onto someone to chase down during qualifying to really get up the grid. There were 30 cars so the aim was somewhere between 10 and 15. Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be any space on the track and I managed 1 clear lap. That got me up to P19 which was really disappointing but was mid pack so I knew that I would have to race hard. 

Race 1 was soon upon us and I lined up ready to go. A fairly good start amid the hustle of the pack and I managed to make up a few spaces. During the first lap there was some contact and someone had their car stopped on the side of the track. It was in an awkward position so the safety car was called out and everyone re-grouped and the board showed me in P16. On the restart the guy in front of me made a mistake on the last corner and we as you can’t overtake until the start/finish line we lost about 5 seconds to the pack. Not ideal, so I knew I had to get by this guy ASAP which I managed a few corners later – It didn’t last very long as I then made a mistake, ran wide onto the dirt and grass and lost 4 places back to P19. With a few laps left I chased them down and managed to get one back by the end of the race, finishing in P18. 

The Saturday evening saw me get back to the hotel to enjoy the pool and spa they had, watched the Germany v Ghana match, got a bite to eat – fish and chips if you must know – and then into bed ready for the final day and race 2 tomorrow. 

Race 2 was at 3pm and I was starting P18. A poor start sent me back to P25 after lap 1, not what I had planned but it did make the race interesting. I was setting my best lap times all the way through the race and started picking people off 1 by 1. By the end of the race I had got to P17 and set the 8th fastest lap of the race. Bitter sweet really as it showed that I had the pace but my finish position didn’t reflect that. 

It was another weekend where I finished with my best times and the improvements keep on coming! Huge thanks to the team, my sponsors and friends and family. We are off to Spa in Belgium for the next round on 12th July! 

Simon Rudd

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