Craig ‘pipped at the post’

Craig Mitchell takes the lead

Craig Mitchell takes the lead

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YOUNG Greenfaulds racer Craig Mitchell made the 1500-mile round trip to the famous Spa Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium in order to compete in the Spa Summer Classic event.

And the long journey certainly proved to be worthwhile.

A huge grid of some 50 cars entered qualifying on the Friday. Craig grabbed fifth-fastest time and that’s where he would start in the Saturday race.

A few changes to the car set up and he felt he was well prepared, but as the pace car brought the grid around for the start, the heavens opened sending all participants to the pits for a tyre changing frenzy.

The race resumed and after 25 minutes in very dangerous racing conditions Craig had retained the fifth spot and managed to keep himself in the leading group of cars, meaning he had the fifth place grid slot once again for the big race on Sunday.

The Sunday race was run in fine weather conditions and there was time to check out the settings that Craig had selected for the final race of the weekend.

A great start saw him grab fourth into the first corner and by the end of lap two he was in third spot.

Craig said that the car felt great and very fast at the end of the long straights and added that altering the final gear had really worked a treat.

A safety car incident then ensued. When it left the track Craig was up into second place quickly and pressing the leader. Another lap and first spot was his, managing to keep the slot until two laps remained.

At that point a three-second lead disappeared when a back marker incident caused confusion and this cost Craig the lead position.

In the final lap Craig was again pressing to get the lead, and at the last hairpin was putting the leader under severe pressure.

The front car lost control under braking and left the track. However, instead of returning to the circuit the driver cut straight across the off-circuit area and took the flag.

Craig was disappointed when the win was awarded, as this off-circuit excursion is usually punished by a one place position as a minimum.

This was certainly a brilliant race weekend for the young Greenfaulds driver and a great deal of experience was gained in the car.

Craig’s next event is a double header at the end of July at Donington, a track which Craig really enjoys.

Craig would like to say a special thanks to Barking Mad, local pet care specialists, for their support.