24th August 2006
Suzy Dignan heading the pack at Brands Hatch

Suzanne Dignan 7th in championship and 2nd in team championship

Following her success in beating over 8,000 women to be in the final 16 to race in the Formula Woman Race Championship, Suzanne Dignan, aged 23, from Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire has moved up three places to 7th in the rankings following the double header race meeting at Brands Hatch last weekend.

The previous race at the local circuit at Mallory Park saw her take pole position for the second race, only to be pushed into the inside Armco barrier in the second lap at Gerrards corner. So no points for that race and instead of a move up to 3rd in the championship she slipped down to 10th place. As all races count for the final Championship result, and with 16 points for a win, a non-finish was a serious blow to Suzanne’s chance to win the Championship. The race results so far have been very close with five different winners from six races.

Suzy Dignan cornering hard at Paddock Hill Bend, Brands Hatch

The two races at Brands Hatch allowed Suzanne to recover her confidence and she improved steadily throughout the weekend. On the Saturday she qualified 4th on the grid and drove a steady race, staying out of trouble in order to recover some points. However she demonstrated her speed by taking 2nd fastest lap and finished 5th overall, 2 seconds behind the winner. At one point the first five were separated by less than one second. It was very close racing.

On the Sunday, Suzanne qualified 6th on the grid, with four hundredths of a second separating 6th to 3rd place. It was going to be another very close race. The race start saw a slight shower of rain falling and Suzanne had too much wheel spin off the line, allowing a couple of cars to beat her into Paddock Hill Bend. She then got boxed in at Graham Hill Bend and lost another two places; then came the fight back. Over the next 8 laps, in now dry conditions, Suzanne put in a stunning drive to move from 10th to 4th place, putting up a fastest lap in the process and the first driver over the whole weekend to get into the 55 second bracket.

Team mates Suzy Dignan and Michelle Nixonon

Just as Suzanne was targeting a move to 3rd place, her team mate, Michelle Nixon, who was right with her in the chase up through the field, ran out of road whilst overtaking a back marker. The ensuing confrontation with the tyre wall caused the organizers to bring out the red flag and stop the race. With only 4 laps remaining, the final result was declared by counting the positions one lap back from when the red flag came out. Suzanne therefore finished 5th overall. Fortunately, Michelle was shaken and bruised but otherwise okay. With only Suzanne scoring team points, they made no progress on the overall team position but just still retained 2nd team position in the Championship.

Suzanne would like to thank all her supporters and sponsors for their tremendous help and enthusiasm. The supporters in the Number 9 shirts It was great at Mallory Park to see over thirty friends and family cheering her on, many of them wearing T-shirts with the number ‘9’ and the sponsors names on the back.

Harlequin Fabrics
Pilotwise International
Jolliffe Hepburn
Hillarys Coachworks
Get It Plastered.co.uk
Richard Watkinson
Bob McLuckie
Steve & Janice Williams
William Davis
LA Fitness

The next races are at Snetterton, Norfolk, on the 23rd and 24th of September.

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