Fiona Leggate - Latest News

7th April 2010

Fiat Abarth at Oulton Park

The Easter weekend saw Fiona Leggate take part in the inaugural Zing Trofeo Abarth races held at the British GT meeting at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Her car is backed by the Abarth Dealer, Autoworld of Chesterfield. The car will be run by CMS, an experienced team that has run cars in all sorts of series and has achieved a lot of success.  It was a slightly unusual race meeting with  test sessions held on the Friday, qualifying and one race on the Saturday and then the second race not until the Bank Holiday Monday.

Fiona had gone well in tests at the circuit a couple of weeks before so was really looking forward to the event. It was her first circuit race since the final BTCC race in 2008 so she was a little worried at being race rusty. Her race car was delivered on Thursday just in time for the race but it soon became clear during the test sessions on Friday that the car had a serious engine issue. A misfire was diagnosed. The car was worked on overnight ready for Qualifying but it soon became clear that this hadn’t worked and the misfire was worse.  Even with the problems Fiona managed ninth on the grid, a good position in the circumstances. The team again set to work on the car hoping to cure the mysterious problem in time for the race.

Unfortunately as the race got underway it became clear that the car had got much worse and Fiona was forced to pull off on lap one, the car totally undriveable.  It was now that the unconvential format of the weekend worked in Fiona’s favour, with there being over 24 hours before race two on Monday afternoon. The team spent all of Sunday looking at the problem car and by Monday morning they seemed to have it sorted. A quick test run around the paddock seemed to indicate that all was now well. Fiona would finally be able to race, the only drawback being that she would now have to start from the back after her earlier DNF on the first lap.

Fiona got an excellent start and was soon passing the backmarkers. For lap after lap she pounded round setting faster times than several cars ahead of her. By the final lap she had hauled the car up to seventh place, an excellent result given the starting position. Fiona had finished her first race on over two years and had also proved she could still race well. She was reasonably happy.

“That wasn’t bad given the circumstance.” She commented after the race, “But it seemed my bad luck struck again!”

There are only two weeks to wait for the next rounds at Silverstone, supporting the prestigious FIA Formula two championship.  Hopefully Fiona will have a car that is 100% from the start. With the first rounds out of the way Fiona will be raring to go and will hopefully be able to battle properly from higher up the grid.

There is coverage of the series on Motors TV.

Report & Pictures supplied by Marc Waller