The opening weekend of the Ginetta G50 Cup provided Rachel Green with some of the worst weather conditions that the former Caterhams race winner has had to face.
The testing sessions ahead of the weekend action gave Green the chance to learn more about the car and in torrential rain she was able to lap within four tenths of a second of Rob Huff, the works Chevrolet driver in the WTCC who was making a guest appearance for Dynojet. This first performance put a smile on Greens face.
The second session was postponed until the track had dried up enough for it to be considered safe and the slicks came out for the shortened session. Green continued to show her pedigree having finished the session fifth, ahead of WTCC star Huff.
Saturday's qualifying session was all about judging the weather and track conditions, and the brave decision was to run slicks. After the session was red flagged to retrieve the damaged car of Dynojet's Adam Morgan Green was one of five drivers to remain on slicks in the hope of causing an upset in qualifying. On her final qualifying lap, Green jumped from seventh to fourth on the grid, taking two seconds off her previous fastest time. Green was only beaten by the dominant Dynojet duo of Huff and Frank Wrathall and IDL's Tom Sharp.
The opening round of the Championship saw all but one car take to the track on wet tyres, and with Green starting fourth, she was confident of a strong performance but she didn't get the best of starts and lost fourth to Chris Dittman at the complex on the opening lap.
Further back, Carl Breeze was on a charge and soon found his way past. Green then spent the remainder of the race defending from former G20 racer Matt Bell, and held on to her top six finish by less than a tenth of a second.
The second race of the weekend saw on a dry track, with some damp patches as the G50s were first out on track. Green lined up sixth on the race two grid formed on the result of race one but by the end of the opening lap had dropped down to eighth place.
Lap two saw disaster strike for Green as she honed her rally cross skills, running wide at Goodwood corner fighting to keep the car out of the wall – which she successfully managed but ended up some twenty seconds off the pace. Two laps later and her charge had brought her up to the tail of Ginetta Junior graduate Aaron Williamson.
The following lap though saw the Safety Car deployed for seven laps as Dan Denis went off and head on into a tyre wall at 140mph. Green and Denis have raced each other before in Caterhams, so it was a worrying time for Green and Denis's team.
Denis was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone and suspected further injuries, and has been released and could be back racing within a couple of months.
After the Safety Car period, race two of twenty eight became a four lap sprint to the flag, and Green was extremely disappointed to come home fifteenth.
The third race of the weekend saw Green start fifteenth and she lacked the pace which she had shown during the earlier races. By lap two, the Sawbridgeworth based racer had climbed into twelfth place overall before dropping back to fifteenth place where she would finish at the end of the sixteen lap race. Whether the Denis incident was playing on her mind or she had made the wrong choice on set up, Green will have some work to do before Rockingham on the 24/25 April.
After the opening weekend, Green was delighted that she could race with the top drivers in the Championship yet disappointed that her pace hadn't yielded more points in the Championship.