Suzy Dignan has mixed days in the Formula Woman Championship
Suzanne had a mixed weekend; a great day in the rain on the Saturday - report below, and a day of minor mishaps on Sunday - but still managed a finish in 13th place after the bonnet flew off at 110mph and she lost a lap in the pits.
She missed 5th place on Saturday by 9/100 ths of a second. She dodged out of the tow from the final Honda corner and was almost alongside at the chequered flag, but still about 7 feet from completing the overtake manoeuvre.
She is currently in 8th place in the Championship.
For the first race of the 2006 Formula Woman Championship conditions were far from ideal – the excitement turned to tension for many of the women as the heavens opened and the Pembrey circuit became awash with rain.
Taking up the front of the grid were Hayward (on pole) followed by Sian Stafford and Helen Ray, but when the lights went out the positions soon changed. Hayward had an awful start off the line meaning Stafford took an instant lead followed by Helen Ray, Kerri Pritchard and Vicky Lloyd, with Hayward back in 5th place.
Stafford held onto the lead but Hayward was closing in fast. Pritchard had an unfortunate spin putting her back into last place while at the front of the grid Hayward caught Stafford out at the hairpin to take the lead. Following a close battle between Ray and Lloyd on lap 6, Ray spun at Honda curve hitting the tyre barriers and forcing her into retirement.
As Hayward sped off into the distance Stafford and Lloyd remained in second and third place but the battle was on behind for fourth place between Lucy Redding, Suzanne Dignan and Jackie Skelton - making for some exciting action as the racing became closer and closer within the pack.
Emma Eede was another driver to succumb to the wet conditions spinning but managing to continue at Honda curve. Pritchard put up a good fight to try and regain the places lost by an earlier spin but the slippery track showed no mercy and following a further spin on lap 7 was unable to go any further.
The last laps brought some of the most exciting racing of the day as Jackie Skelton was determined to take 5th place from the hands of Suzanne Dignan. She passed Suzanne on the back straight and after a couple of daring manoeuvres by Suzanne, managed to just hold onto 5th with Suzanne missing the re-overtake by nine hundredths of a second over the finishing line.
Lynsey Bremner was not so lucky - after a small spin her tyres hit the sodden grass leaving her fate completely out of her hands. Nikki Welsby unfortunately under the weather with food poisoning managed to drive a strong race to finish 9th
With Hayward taking first place on Round 1 of the Formula Woman Novice Championship , the determination and gutsy attitude of the other 15 girls proves that this season will make for some fast and furious racing. If this standard of racing can be achieved in such atrocious conditions the next 7 races will certainly be worth watching!
Fastest Lap; Michelle Hayward; 1:14.578