It’s the final round of the 2019 MINI Challenge season. Ryan has always gone well at Snetterton and he’ll be looking to master the 2.97 mile track once again
A difficult start
In the week leading up to Round 8 at Snetterton on the 19th – 20th October, Direnza All Star driver Ryan Dignan had been battling illness and there where some doubts around whether we could make the event at all. Ryan was struggling all day during Friday practice and as a result the team missed out some valuable track time.
Saturday came along and Ryan hadn’t improved much overnight, however he strapped himself into the car and managed to take 11th place on the grid for race 1, with a time of 2:06.822. Finishing well inside the top half of the 26 car grid and only 2 seconds from pole, it was a great result for Ryan and the team.
Taking on the second longest track in the country
The 2.97 mile Snetterton 300 Circuit is second only to Silverstone. Made up of high speed double apex corners, hairpins and big braking zones, this is a track that demands respect and separates the good drivers from the great drivers.
As the lights went out for the start of race 1, Ryan was right in the mix heading down to turn 1, a fast double right-hander. In front, the number 88 car was tagged resulting in a huge moment with the driver battling to keep it under control. Eventually finding himself bouncing down the grass on the inside of the track.
Consequently Ryan had to show caution and this moment of hesitation allowed four cars to get by. But with some fast and consistent driving, Ryan fought his way back up to 12th where he stayed for the majority of the 20 minute race. The pace was great and the car was exactly where i wanted it says Ryan Dignan, it was just a matter of putting everything together for the second race tomorrow.
The last hurrah!
10:55 am Sunday morning brought us race 2 and with it, the final race of the 2019 season. This time Ryan was more aggressive at the start and held his nerve as multiple cars went off around him. It was fast becoming a race of attrition, with several more cars spinning and colliding in the next few laps.
A yellow flag as a result of the chaos and a timing error for Ryan and a some of his rivals saw his chance of 8th slip away, however if Ryan could keep it on the black stuff he was still on for a great result. As the lead cars got away, the last couple of laps gave us an intense 8 car battle for a place in the top 10 and with two passes in quick succession Ryan manage to do just that!
It was a great way to end to the championship after such a difficult week leading up to the event and it will provide Ryan with all the confidence he needs heading into 2020. When the MINI Challenge series joins the British Touring Car package and with it, fully televised races. We cant wait to see how he gets on next year.