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Mark Steel: Snetterton Report

Mark Steel showed more evidence of his strong pace in the Volkswagen Racing Cup at Snetterton Circuit over the weekend.

The Pall-Ex Director of Sales and Marketing qualified in 13th position on Saturday in his, new for this season, MK7 Golf.

After the session, Mark said: “That was a tough one. The car felt good and it looked like I was going to be able to break into the top 10 so 13th is disappointing.

“However, the SlideSports Team have given me a good car for the races tomorrow and I’m excited to make my way through the pack come lights out in Race One.”

On Sunday, Mark lined up on the 13th grid slot and was able to hold his position down into turn one.

A spin from Simon Walton’s Audi TT at turn two caused trouble for the following pack, and Steel did well to avoid contact whilst capitalising on other drivers having to take avoiding action, as he made up a place on the exit of the corner.

By the end of the first lap, Mark had climbed into 12th place.

Just seven minutes into the 20-minute race, Dan Crossley tangled with former British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) driver Brett Smith on the pit straight.

The incident saw both cars smash into the pit entry barrier, and Crossley’s Volkswagen Scirocco flipped and landed on the top of the tyre barrier.

Both drivers walked away from the incident but were taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

As the incident completely blocked the pit entrance, the race was red flagged and cars came to a halt on the start/finish straight.

The wreckage took so long to clear that it was not possible to restart the race due to time constraints, and Josh Coggan was declared the winner, with the pack having only completed 2 full laps.

Following the premature end to Race One, Mark commented: “It’s a big shame that we couldn’t get the full race completed, as I feel like I could have kept chasing down the guys in front and gained more places.

“The main thing is that both Dan and Brett are ok after that big impact.”

Looking forward to Race Two, the Pall-Ex man was optimistic: “As I said, the car is feeling good and if it wasn’t for the red flag in Race One, I think I could have pushed up into the top 10, so that’s the goal for the next race.

“Once again I have to say a massive thanks to the team at SlideSports for preparing the car so well and to all my sponsors who make racing possible.”

In Race Two, Mark started in 12th as a result of his Race One result, and rain was in the air.

From lights out, Mark battled his way up to eighth place in the opening two laps, thanks in part to a number of competitors sliding off the track in the slippery conditions.

At the end of lap two, the Safety Car was deployed to neutralise the race whilst two cars were recovered.

Following the restart, Mark continued to fight to hold his position but lost two places later in the race and he came home in 10th position.

Following the race, Mark reflected on the day’s events: “It’s a shame I couldn’t hang on to eighth place. Once again the car was feeling good, even in the slippery conditions, and my pace was up there with the cars in front.

“The Safety Car in that race helped bunch us all together and gave me a chance to climb further, but it wasn’t to be.

“Overall I’m pleased to have been able to avoid any incidents this weekend after last time out at Oulton Park, and I’ve shown that I can race with the guys around me. Hopefully, next time out at Silverstone I can continue to improve and claim more points there” he added.

For more information on the weekend at Snetterton and the Volkswagen Racing Cup, click here.

Up Next

Mark will be racing again on the weekend of the 8-9th June at Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire.

You can keep up-to-date with Mark’s results and timings by clicking here.

On Sunday 9th June, you can also live-stream both races on YouTube, so you don’t miss any of the action.