Photo Copyright Neil Randon
It was a weekend of mixed fortunes and much drama for Jade Developments / Transport Monthly supported driver Luke Pinder. On arrival at the Anglesey circuit the team were met with high winds and horizontal rain, not ideal weather to attempt to erect the Jade Developments team awning after several attempts the awning was finally installed and the team retired to the hotel hoping that it would still be in position the following morning. Luckily the weather eased overnight, the awning remained intact and the team commenced a full day of testing on the Friday.
Consistent performances throughout the day saw Pinder happy with his pace and looking forward to Saturdays qualifying. All that changed when a visit from the technical scrutineer deemed Pinder’s engine to be no longer eligible after an essential cam belt change because of debris from the “off” in the second race at the Croft meeting last month. After frantic phone calls around the event and championship officials it was decided that Pinder would probably be allowed to run after all and that it would all be sorted out the following morning. At least that meant the team would not have to return to Yorkshire to remove the engine from another car and face an overnight engine swap. On arrival at the circuit on Saturday morning Pinder was told that he could not run his engine that weekend and with the option of collecting his spare engine now gone he had to rely on the generosity of fellow competitor Ben Palmer who offered him use of his spare engine which was at the circuit. With time now very tight the Jade Developments team pushed hard to complete the transplant in time for qualifying. It was close but it could not be completed in time despite the best efforts of all the team. So plan B was to qualify the following morning immediately before the first race. The problem with that was that it meant Pinder would have to start both races from the back of the grid.
So whilst sat at the rear of the grid for race 1, Pinder was determined to repay the team for all of their efforts and produced a mighty start, moving from last to 5th by the exit of turn 1, that progress continued during the first lap and Pinder briefly held 2nd place. As the race continued Pinder was engaged in battle with all of the front runners before a “gear cut” fault caused him to fall back to finish in 5th position at the checkered flag.
In race 2 Pinder again produced a fantastic start from dead last and this time had got up to 4th position on lap 1 moving up to 3rd on lap 2. It transpired that the 2 leaders had jumped the start and when a 10 second penalty was applied mid race Pinder topped the time charts as the race leader. Squabbling with the championship leaders for that 3rd position allowed the cars in front to get away and take 1st and 2nd at the flag by 0.66 of a second. So elated with a hard fought podium but disappointed not to take the win it had been a very dramatic weekend.
So on wards to Silverstone in October where the team will be looking for a win on the road and intending to hang on to 3rd overall in the championship.