GREENFAULDS racer Craig Mitchell has had a bit of an up and down start to the new 2011 season in the March Racing Academy Sports 2000 Duratec Championship.
After his first year in car racing 17-year-old Craig managed to claim the Scottish Legends Rookie Champion 2010 title. The winter was spent looking at other national formulae which fitted around the family budget. After a two day test drive, in an MCR Duratec sports car at Brands Hatch, the decision was finally made to try and locate a really good car for this type of racing for 2011.
The new vehicle (pictured) is a Lola T88/90 and indeed a formidable machine for the young man to adapt to, especially with the technical nature of this type of sports car and levels of grip available from the tyres.
Craig’s first trial in his new car was at an open track day at Silverstone which ended in a huge smile and thumbs up for the new machinery. A fantastic fault-free day gave him an understanding of the challenge ahead and he couldn’t wait for the opening event at the new Snetterton 300 race circuit in Norfolk being held over the Easter holiday weekend.
On arrival at the Snetterton circuit the Lola was suffering from a misfire which proved impossible to locate and forced the car out of contention. All the way to Norfolk for not one minute of track time – but that’s racing! The car was taken to a specialist company in Birmingham and after checking all aspects of the electronics system the fault was found and Craig was set for the next event at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire on May 7, 2011.
In early practice at the Cadwell event a damaged stub axle meant very little track time but a replacement was fitted and Craig qualified tenth on the grid. After a red flag incident from the first start, Craig chose to line up at the rear of the grid for the second start, due to the fact that he had never competed in any standing start events.
Starting in last position Craig crossed the line third in the 18-car race and was on the podium for his first race in the series. Certainly Craig has shown he is more than capable in the new car, especially at Cadwell Park which is a very tricky and demanding circuit.
Craig’s next event is at the Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, in early June. This, of course, is a world famous race circuit which is the favourite of many top drivers and motor racing fans alike. Craig is looking forward to doing well at this two-day event. The Spa event is followed by a three-round visit to both the Donington Park Grand Prix and international circuit.
Craig would like to thank Barking Mad, local pet care specialists, for their continued support.