The Panda Flew to 2nd Step of the Podium
Last weekend, MINI Challenge Cooper Am rookie Andy Ringland finished second in just his second race meeting. His R50 MINI, dubbed ‘The Flying Panda’, was clearly working well around the Oulton Park circuit, as this on board video shows.
Read Andy’s description of events below:
“Race 2 started behind the safety car, as Oulton Park officials had altered the track configuration from the International Circuit to the Island Circuit due to barrier damage sustained in Race 1. To comply with the regulations, drivers were given three familiarisation laps prior to being let off the chain. The starting order was based on the results of the previous race plus a grid reversal, so I lined up second in Cooper Am class.
“Once the race started, I managed to pass pole-sitter Michael Paul at Turn 1 and began extending my lead while taking care not to overdo things at the newly-introduced Island hairpin. Come lap 6, I was still ahead, but second placed man Paul Manning was closing me down and I began praying for the chequered flag to be waved. Two laps later, Manning was looming large in my mirrors and I needed to take the defensive line into Lodge Corner. The move wasn’t enough to keep Manning behind, but we then had a close battle right to the very end.
“Standing on the second step of the podium in just my second MINI Challenge meeting was a great feeling, and I’m already looking forward to the next round at Brands Hatch on July 20th.”