William Pettitt ‘0’ – Mini Max – Tooley Motorsport
‘0’ Plate Mini Max Champion 2015 – Rowrah
In The Dry
The first thing I’d recommend anyone to do who may be visiting Rowrah for the first time would be walk the circuit and take a good look at the chicane. Try and really inspect the kerbs, as you’ll be using plenty of them and also plan out your line as you approach it fast and slightly blind.
The thing to remember about ‘Chicane’ is the most important part of it is the exit. I know that may sound insulting to some people but it is usually the biggest mistake made by people visiting the circuit for the first time. So what you want to do is carry as much speed as you can through the fast right hander, miss the kerb but stay as far to the right as you can. To do this you need to get the rear inside wheel lifting and take a wide line, so turn in late! This will open up the left hander, you will again miss the kerb there but then you need to take a lot of kerb through the last right hander to cut the corner as much as possible. The last two parts of ‘Chicane’, in a Mini Max, are flat out and the first right hander, when the grip is down, is just a lift.
The approach to ‘Chicane’ is around 60mph in a Mini Max so you need to build up confidence to do this and I’d say it would take a good day for a driver to really nail it! Hitting that last kerb is also very tricky, you need to hit it just right to glide over it. Hit it wrong and you’ll bounce and run wide. The trick is to go straight over it rather then turn through it.
I mentioned earlier about the exit being the most important part. Well that is because the corner that follows ‘Chicane’ (first corner) is the first hairpin which is the first real overtaking opportunity of the lap. You get ‘Chicane’ wrong you’ll get done into there or you’ll be forced to defend. Get it right and you’ll be more than likely passing into there. It’s definitely a three tenth gain at minimum from getting it right to getting it wrong.
On overtaking ‘Chicane’ is not really a place you can pass unless your fully alongside someone by the time you get to the turn in point. On the flip side if someone is passing you into there it’s very sensible to back out of it rather than try and go round the outside, which I have seen go wrong on a number of occasions.
In The Wet
In the wet the principle is still the same in the sense the exit is crucial but you need to change your lines slightly. Going into the corner you need to brake off line and turn in early. Hit the kerb and hold it tight through the first right hander, take the kerb through the left and again sacrifice speed there to set yourself up for the last right hander. Take a lot of kerb through there, about same amount as in dry, if you miss it you’ll understeer, run wide and get done. Certainly there’s more time to be gained here than there is in the dry. I’d also recommend a slight lift through the last part as you hit the kerb to avoid spinning the rear wheels up.
The most common mistake I see made is drivers missing the kerb at the first right hander, which causes them to understeer wide leaving them tight for the left hander. This spoils the whole corner and will often result in a position lost at the first hairpin.
That’s essentially how you boss the ‘Chicane’. Best of luck!