Snetterton Race Reports

Snetterton Race Reports

07 August 2023

Snetterton kickstarted the second half of Miata Trophy’s debut season, on August 5th 2023. Two different classes of Mazda MX-5 would battle against each other on the circuit’s 300 configuration for increasingly-important championship points.

Declan Lee (Hills Motorsport #12) headed into the weekend second in the overall standings and looked to seize the initiative in qualifying, setting the first representative fastest lap. A Miller Motorsport fightback from Alex Miller (#7) and John Langridge (#5) saw each driver momentarily top the timing sheet, before Lee once again showed his pace to reclaim his spot at the head of the field. An exceptional lap time of 2:39:681secs ensured that Declan Lee would lead NC Class’s fastest qualifiers into SuperPole – a whopping 3.394secs ahead of Alex Miller in second. Langridge would follow into SuperPole in third, ahead of Daniel Parrans-Smith (Boreham Motorsport #73) and Michael Knibbs (Hills Motorsport #82). Liam Cochrane (Turner Property Services Racing) has enjoyed a tremendous year in NA Class and continued that fine form in qualifying, as he and fellow Mk1 MX-5 driver Marcus Rosswell-Potts (Misty Racing #14) earned their place in SuperPole.

Declan Lee, who was vying to become the fourth different Miata Trophy polesitter from as many races, knew he would need to keep calm under the pressure of SuperPole and thrive under it. The Hills Motorsport driver duly delivered, setting a lap time faster than the previous session to secure his place at the front of the grid for race one. Alex Miller would be the driver who lost out most, falling from second in qualifying to fourth in SuperPole. His Miller Motorsport teammate John Langridge benefited, rising to second on the starting grid. Michael Knibbs was another to flourish in the session as he put his #82 car onto third on the grid, while Daniel Parrans-Smith would have to settle for fifth. Liam Cochrane continued to deliver, beating Rosswell-Potts to head NA Class into the day’s first race.

To add to the tension for lights out in the opening race, weather conditions had worsened. Polesitter Lee found this out quickly, making a mistake on the opening lap to fall to fifth by the time the competitors crossed the start/finish line for the first time. Langridge profited most, claiming the lead of the race – ahead of: Miller, Knibbs and Parrans-Smith. Liam Cochrane navigated the early exchanges well to continue his class lead. Miata Trophy, despite only being in it’s fourth-ever race meeting, has produced some incredible moments and we were set to witness another. Spurred on by his early mistake, Hills Motorsport #12’s Declan Lee got his head down and utilized the pace the driver had shown earlier in qualifying and SuperPole. A combination of quick lap times and well-executed overtakes saw Lee quickly work his way back into second place and hot on the heels of John Langridge in front. After two laps of close battling, Declan Lee seized the lead and didn’t look back to secure an excellent race victory. His fellow Hills Motorsport driver Michael Knibbs kept the car in front honest, but eventually finished 2.936secs behind in second place. Daniel Parrans-Smith was rewarded for a great drive with the final spot on the NC Class podium. Alex Miller and Nicholas Stott (Hills Motorsport #4) rounded out the top five overall. Liam Cochrane didn’t put a foot wrong, delivering a lights-to-flag victory in NA Class, while Misty Racing’s Rosswell-Potts secured his first silverware of the year finishing second in class. A technical infringement found in post-race scrutineering disqualified John Langridge from the result.

After the mistake on the opening lap of the day’s first race, Declan Lee would have hoped for a much less eventful start to race two. However, a lightning getaway for Michael Knibbs put pay to that. With an excellent turn of pace, Knibbs stormed into the lead of the race ahead of Lee. Also enjoying a fantastic race start was Jiffy Winks’ Simon Fleet, who leapfrogged rivals to end the opening lap in third place overall. However, Fleet was unable to prevent Boreham Motorsport’s Parrans-Smith retaking his provisional spot on the podium on the following lap. Out front, a gripping duel developed between the lead Hills Motorsport cars of Knibbs and Lee. Less than 0.900secs separated the two across the line each lap, until a decisive move from Declan Lee on lap seven of the race ensured maximum delight for the Hills Motorsport #12 team, as Lee took his second victory of the day! Michael Knibbs fought valiantly to finish the race in second, while Dan Parrans-Smith continued an impressive day with his second third-place finish. Simon Fleet put in a solid drive to fourth, ahead of Alex Miller and Roan Lundy (Boreham Motorsport #88) in fifth and sixth respectively. Liam Cochrane was unable to secure his second victory of the day in NA Class, as Marcus Rosswell-Potts improved on his earlier result to take the top step in class! Congratulations to all.

We now have a slight break to recover, before attention turns to the picturesque Oulton Park for the penultimate race meeting of the 2023 season.