- Chris Ashby
Pace Goes Unrewarded For Ashley Gregory At Snetterton
Ashley Gregory endured a weekend of frustration at Snetterton this past weekend (13/14 May) as she saw her pace go unrewarded in the latest rounds of the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy.
Arriving at the Norfolk venue full of confidence after claiming a Rookie Cup podium at the season-opener, the 18-year-old battled valiantly to clinch a top six class finish in the weekend’s finale - only after bad luck had blighted her in the previous two contests.
Dialling in her front-wheel-drive machine throughout Friday’s practice sessions, the Rawtenstall-based teenager punched in a superlative lap during qualifying on Saturday to secure a seventh row start for race one.
Unfortunately, Gregory’s race later that afternoon was sadly over before it began as contact on the opening lap forced her to retire with damage.
Forced to start from the pit lane in race two, Gregory - who is backed by Pecometer Software, Available Car, Salford Car and Van Hire, Gianluca Photography - found herself on the receiving end of more misfortune, which was once again not of her own doing.
Bidding to fight her way up the order, the former Junior Ministox driver made solid progress before being one of a number of drivers that got caught out by fluid on the circuit, sending her into a spin and ultimately on to finishing 26th as the red flags came out.
Keen to sign off the weekend on a high, Gregory - who is also supported by HMS Haulage, DMG Contracts, Northcoat, Wilson and Whiting, Lancashire Carpets, Lavender Hotels and Mintech Spares - was able to bounce back in style in race three.
Lining up towards the rear of the grid, the Rookie Cup contender produced an overtaking masterclass as she carved her way up the order - completing a number of eye-catching moves on her way to clinching 13th overall and sixth in class.
Ashley Gregory:“I think the best way to describe the weekend is character building. Coming into Snetterton we had high hopes but the dice just didn’t roll our way; we were able to show what we could do in race three though.
“After qualifying just outside the top ten I was confident of moving forward but contact on the first lap meant we couldn’t continue. Then the fluid on circuit caught me - along with plenty of others - out and despite being able to get back going the race ended early.
“To be able to fight our way from the back to a strong finish in that last one is a real boost and some good momentum to take into the next rounds at Thruxton, where we’ll be live on ITV4 racing alongside the British Touring Car Championship. I’m excited for that one!”
The fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, provides the next stop on the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy calendar on 3/4 June.
Image from Graham Holbon Photography.