Damage control amongst questionable driving standards at Imola
The first round of the HM Engineering GT3 Series took place at Imola for a 60 minutes race with a strong 21 car field packing the grid. Among the entrants was our own Mia Rose, entering as the sole Queens’ Design McLaren.
Qualifying was a tough ordeal with Mia placing 8th on the grid with a 1:40.049; +0.7 seconds off the pole. Although there was more time to be found through the session, nothing seemed to line up for the Australian and was unable to improve her starting position.
With the race underway Mia was able to pick up a position from her qualifying spot right after the start of the race, battling with drivers into Tamburello and coming out holding onto 7th place. On lap 5 she spun out, dropping as low as 13th. However, in a great show of perseverance Mia went on to claw back the time she had lost and regained 4 places after a couple of fantastic passing manoeuvres on fellow competitor Alexey Savelyev, positioning herself into 9th place and promptly pulling away from the Promixflame Team driver.
Halfway into the race Mia would opt to pit in after hitting the wall due to a mistake, suffering steering damage. It would cause her to lose 8 seconds in the pits. She would however keep on pushing for track position, pulling off a wonderful pass around the outside at Rivazza to get past JSR Clubsport driver Attaya Kenzie and slot herself into 8th.
With competitor Avila Bahar receiving a drive through penalty for track limits, Mia would find herself occupying the vacated 7th spot and would proceed to hunt down Jaka Siswoyo for 6th. Although she was able to whittle down the gap to a single second, there wouldn’t be enough time to pass the JSR Clubsport competitor. Mia would keep her position and finish 7th.
It turned out to be a tough race for the first round, but the finishing position only tells half the story. With a great recovery drive from Mia, there are surely better things to come in future races as the team heads onto Monza for round 2.
(text by Ruby Acosta, pictures by Mia Rose)