Jacques Mizzi heads to Snetterton Circuit for Rounds 11 and 12.

Thursday, August 1, 2013, 11:57

Snetterton Circuit has been completely redesigned since I pursued my racing course at Jim Russell’s International Racing Drivers School in the summer of 1964. It can hardly be recognized and only two corners Riches and Coram Curve remain. The most difficult hairpin after the long fast Norwich Straight has been eliminated.

Young Jacques Mizzi does not have any problems with any of this because the new 3- mile circuit is the only one he knows. When he tested his Renault Clio at Snetterton before the season started he had some technical problems, but he has learnt a lot since then. The difficulty is that Snetterton now has 12 corners instead of the original 7!

This means that in every lap Jacques has 12 places where he needs to brake, change gears, approach the apex and exit until he comes to the next corner where he will have to do the same again.

If Riches corner has remained the same from my time, it is actually a double apex corner,so Jacques will have to be careful not to treat it as a single apex corner. Coram curve is another interesting corner. It reminds one of the Ta’Xbiex curve when one drives from Gzira to Msida!

Rounds 11 and 12 this weekend at the Snetterton 300 will see Jacques embarking on the last 6 races of this most competitive one-make championship. He hopes that after registering his best result in the last race at Croft, he will succeed to do even better.

But this is not going to be easy because all the other 23 drivers are determined to do the same to try and impress sponsors and team managers for the 2014 season.

Jacques has just experienced the FIA Institute’s selection process for the Excellence programme, and it remains to be seen if this will help him to improve his performance on the track.

Incidentally, the only other driver from the Clio Cup, the Lithuanian driver Ignas Gelzinis was selected by the FIA Institute for the forthcoming Excellence programme. It is going to be interesting comparing the performances of Jacques and Ignas at Snetterton.

Jacques has maintained the 20 Renault UK Clio Cup Championship with 37 points – 11 more points than at Oulton Park. In the Graduate Cup Jacques has dropped one place to the 13 points – 23 points more than Oulton and just 3 points behind Ignas of Lithuania.

All the auto racing fans in Malta wish Jacques the best of luck and success in pre-event testing on Friday, 2nd August, as well as in the qualifying session and the 2 races on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Timing Solutions Ltd is providing live timing of the qualifying session and Round 11 on Saturday, 3rd August at 11.20 and 16.40 respectively,UK time. Live timing of Round 12 will be available through TSL-Timing at 11.10 UK time, while ITV4 will be screening Round 12 in the afternoon. This could be watched online through filmon by those who do not have access to ITV4. Jacques’ action photos are being kindly provided by Kingsley Newman.

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